June 18, 2024 8:11 am

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Jameson Williams: Speed, Potential, and the Road to Polishing His Game with the Detroit Lions

With ample speed, ambition, and potential, Jameson Williams hopes to become a primary weapon for the Lions offense in 2023. And so do his coaches, teammates, and the Detroit fans.
A photo of the crowd from a 2022 Detroit Lions home game.

As the Detroit Lions gear up for their preseason games, Jameson Williams stands out as a young talent with potential. Despite a rough start to his NFL career, the Lions remain confident in his ability to develop into an explosive wideout in the league. However, Williams’ progress could face hurdles due to the six-game NFL suspension waiting for him at the start of the 2023 campaign and a lingering leg injury that has already cost him several days of training camp.

Drafted as the 12th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, Williams has shown flashes of his potential, underscored by his time as a standout player at Alabama. His speed is a particular highlight, with Lions’ coach Dan Campbell recognizing Williams as one of the fastest at his position in the league.

Despite his explosive speed, Williams must adapt his skill set to the demands of the professional level. While his speed allowed him to outrun defenders in college, the gap has considerably closed in the NFL. The Lions coaching staff believes that improving his route-running will create the separation necessary to fully utilize his speed.

Furthermore, the team believes Williams’ hands need improvement, as evidenced by his rookie season where he caught only one of nine passes thrown to him. To eliminate drops, Williams will need to work on his hand mechanics, both in the preseason and regular practices.

Campbell expressed that the focus is on helping Williams to improve in these areas. The coach understands that Williams may never be one of the “elite pass catchers” of the league, but believes that with his speed and proper guidance, he will be a significant asset to the Lions.

Williams’ role in the preseason games is crucial. The Lions plan to immerse him in game reps to aid his development. Campbell feels the more reps Williams gets, the more he’ll grow, and Williams’ eagerness to improve is a significant motivating factor.

The plan for Williams is to maximize his involvement in the Lions’ three preseason games against the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Carolina Panthers. Despite the upcoming suspension that stems from a violation of the NFL’s gambling policy, Williams can practice in training camp sessions, as well as play in preseason games. This provides an excellent opportunity for the young wide receiver to gain experience, improve his skill set, and build rapport with the team’s quarterback, Jared Goff.

The Lions have high hopes for Williams, with an end goal of achieving a level of polish to his game by the end of camp, particularly focusing on his route depth and splits. They believe that if Williams reaches this level of preparedness before his suspension begins, he’ll be able to quickly regain momentum upon his return in October.

Despite his struggles in his rookie season, and the impending suspension, Williams’ future with the Lions looks promising. He’s got the speed, the desire to improve, and a coaching staff invested in his development. As the Lions enter the preseason, all eyes will be on Williams to see how he navigates these challenges and how much he can elevate his game.

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