The Detroit Lions made a bold move up to No. 12 overall Thursday night, and they took Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Lions also got the 46th pick from the Minnesota Vikings in the trade. They’ll give up picks 32, 34 and 66.
Williams (6-foot-1, 179 pounds) started his college career at Ohio State. But lacking opportunity there, in a loaded group of wide receivers, he transferred to Alabama. His former teammates at Ohio State, Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, were drafted 10th and 11th respectively.
In his lone season for the Crimson Tide, Williams had 79 catches for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns. Four of those touchdowns were at least 70 yards, and NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein called him “a home run hitter.”
But Williams suffered a torn ACL in the national title game against Georgia in early January, which immediately clouded his draft outlook for 2022. He declared for this year’s draft anyway, and all indications are his recovery is going very well–already running sprints and doing agility drills.
The latest rumors leading into the draft had Williams going first round, and possibly even top-10 as the first wide receiver off the board.
Jameson Williams adds what the Lions need at wide receiver
The Lions added wide receiver DJ Chark in free agency, and they also re-signed Josh Reynolds. But both potential field stretchers are on short-term deals, and while Reynolds’ deal is technically a two-year pact the team can move on easily one year in.
Williams won’t be ready to play until into the regular season as a rookie, but the Lions don’t have to rush him (as if they would rush him anyway). Looking down the road, he and Amon-Ra St. Brown have the makings of a dynamic duo whose skill sets complement each other perfectly.