Pro Football Focus highlights Lions' UDFA with clearest path to 53-man roster

Isaiah Williams is one of the more interesting Lions' undrafted rookies, and Pro Football Focus has highlighted him.
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Separately, yet clearly together, Lions general manager Brad Holmes and assistant general manager Ray Agnew both sounded confident in the team's wide receiver depth last week. Holmes did allow for the possibility of an addition, however easily obvious, and Agnew specifically mentioned one player.

"He's a playmaker," Agnew said. "With the ball in his hands, a playmaker. He was a quarterback in little league but he became a receiver. I think he'll have a great chance (to make the team), he'll compete. Obviously, slot receiver is pretty much sewed up for us, but he'll compete to get a spot. He can return, he can do a lot of things."

"He" that Agnew spoke of is undrafted rookie wide receiver Isaiah Williams. He had 82 receptions in each of his last two seasons at Illinois, leading the Big Ten in catches last year. He was also top-10 in the conference in receiving yards in both seasons, finishing second last year (1,055 yards). On the return game front, as Agnew mentioned, Williams averaged 9.1 yards per punt return over his last two college seasons.

Pro Football Focus spotlights Lions' UDFA with clear path to the 53-man roster

The Lions did not draft a wide receiver, and they have not signed a veteran to replace Josh Reynolds. There's a lot of projection and hope in the mix other than Amon-Ra St. Brown (Jameson Williams, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Antoine Green). Williams probably should have been drafted, which is reflected by the significant guaranteed money the Lions gave him, and may have had to give him among multiple offers he surely had. But he's small (5-foot-9, 182 pounds) and he ran a very slow 40 at the NFL Combine (4.63 seconds), so he went undrafted.

So it was easy for Pro Football Focus to highlight Williams as the UDFA to watch for the Lions.

"The Lions gave Isaiah Williams $225,000 in guaranteed money, an indication of their admiration for the former Illinois receiver. Williams caught 82 passes for 1055 and five touchdowns in 2023, earning a 79.9 grade, and could make the Lions roster as the team needs depth at receiver."

Williams is clearly a slot receiver, which is not the massive overlap with St. Brown that it may seem to be. So there's a legit opportunity in front of the Illinois product to make the 53-man roster in Detroit, seemingly better than any other UDFA the Lions have brought in.

5 undrafted rookies who could steal a spot on Detroit Lions' 53-man roster. dark. Next. 5 undrafted rookies who could steal a spot on Detroit Lions' 53-man roster