Jameson Williams was drafted due primarily to his athletic talent and upside, but an NFL executive has noted a play that seems to make him a Dan Campbell kind of player.
Jameson Williams did enough before tearing his ACL in last season’s national title game to make him the No. 1 wide receiver in this year’s draft for many people. He was clearly WR1 in this draft for the Detroit Lions, as proven by their move up 20 spots in the first round to get him.
Williams, whenever he’s ready to go coming off his torn ACL, is lined up to make a notable difference in the Lions’ offense. His numbers as a rookie may not be huge, but the team can take it slow with him this year.
Mike Sando of The Athletic (subscription required) got comments from league executives, general managers and evaluators after the draft. One cited how the Lions can be patient with Williams’ recovery (h/t to Lions Wire).
Williams is recovering from ACL surgery, but it’s not as though the Lions are gearing up for a championship run this season. More than a lot of teams, they have time to wait for Williams to make a full recovery.
One play seems to confirm Jameson Williams as a Dan Campbell type
Lions’ head coach Dan Campbell was a gritty tight end who managed to play 10 NFL seasons, and he likes players cut from that same cloth. Williams wouldn’t necessarily stand out as having that type of aggression in him, but Sando talked to an evaluator who cited a play that shows otherwise (h/t to Lions Wire again).
There is a theme to what they did. They got tough, gritty, solid guys. Williams got ejected from a game for a special-teams targeting hit on the punt coverage team.”
When that special teams play happened isn’t immediately clear. But it’s safe to assume Williams played plenty of punt coverage at Ohio State, where he started his college career and was buried on the depth chart behind fellow 2022 first-round picks Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave.
When the play happened isn’t nearly as important as the mentality it reflects. Williams was not pouting about having to be on punt coverage, and if anything he was probably mad about it. Playing with that kind of edge creates a line that has to be toed carefully, and Williams was not smart to go over the line with a targeting ejection. But the play points to the Lions’ first-round wide receiver fitting the mold of player Campbell wants.