The Lions selected wide receiver, Jameson Williams, with the 12th pick in the 2022 draft, after tearing his ACL in the National Championship Game. Before the injury, Williams was considered to be the clear-cut best receiver in the draft class, and the Lions snagged him at wide receiver four. According to Dan Campbell, Williams was expected to make his debut sometime in November, but it seems Williams’ progression has been going extremely well. Let’s break down what Williams could bring to this offense when he comes back, and if it makes sense to bring him back so soon.
What Could The Lions Rookie Bring To The Offense?
In college, Williams was mostly used as a deep-threat receiver, due to his elite-level speed. If you go back and watch his college tape, almost every highlight play is him running passed the corner and breaking away from the safety. He was so effective in that way that it would be extremely hard not to just scheme him to do that and only that, but there are some things to think about on that. The first major thing you got to think about before throwing him in that role is health. If they rush him onto the field before he is ready, those deep routes could aggravate his injury and set him back even more.
On top of that, the Lions have a deep threat, in DJ Chark, as the lead guy right now so there is no need to rush him into it right off the bat. However, if the Lions want to compete right now to at least show they are not as bad as what their record shows, and Williams is ready for it, then it would be a good idea to get him out there to show what he can do. Williams has the talent and potential to be a true wide receiver one in this league, but you don’t want to ruin that by rushing him into play.
Jameson Williams has been leaking footage of him running routes, seemingly without problem, and has been saying all he wants to do is get out on the field and play ball. However, Dan Campbell essentially said the opposite, saying “ Jameson and Okwara are both improving, but won’t be back until well after the bye.” This leaves Lions fans very confused, as they want to see Williams play, but they also want him to get healthy. His presence could bring even more fire to this offense, as he would create way more big plays in the passing game in tough situations.
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When Does It Make Sense For The Lions To Bring Him Back
If the Lions are trying to compete right now to finish with a respectable record, then it would be smart for them to bring him back as soon as he thinks he is ready. That way they can get that spark to the offense that he can bring in the deep passing game. However, if they want to play it safe and make sure he is actually ready to come back and not just saying he is, around Week ten or 11. That way he can fully heal, the Lions are set for next season, and Williams will be 100% going into next year.
To wait until he’s fully healed and can show his dominance in the second half of the year and the following season. An offensive weapon won’t fix the defense, which is what’s losing us games, and the Lions’ offense has been running well without him. If you risk it and he gets re-injured, then you are in some deep trouble and no one knows if he’ll ever be the same.