Amon-Ra St. Brown established himself as one of the top wide receivers in the NFL this past season after catching 106 passes for 1,161 yards and six touchdowns. St. Brown finished as the No. 2 overall graded receiver in the NFL by Pro Football Focus behind only Miami's Tyreek Hill.
St. Brown has shown he can be a versatile weapon also lining up in the backfield, taking a jet sweep 58 yards like he did Week 2 vs. Washington, and he's also one of the top-graded blockers in the run game from the receiver position.
St. Brown is established in this league.
Now he's excited to see fellow wide receiver Jameson Williams establish himself next season, and the two can become a dangerous, one-two punch for the Lions' offense in 2023.
"It was exciting getting to play with him," St. Brown said of Williams. "I think the five, six games he played was just coming off injury and there's a lot that goes into that. I don't know if he felt all the way comfortable yet, but he looked great out there the times that he was out there. Definitely gave us a spark with that Vikings touchdown he had ... the flea flicker that got called back (Sunday vs. Green Bay). He's definitely going to be a spark for us."
Williams missed the first 11 games of the season rehabbing a torn ACL. He played the last six games of the season and just 78 offensive snaps total. In that brief glimpse, it was easy to see his speed and playmaking potential.
He caught just one of his nine targets, but the catch was a 41-yard touchdown. He took an end around 40 yards in the Week 17 win over Chicago. He had a 66-yard touchdown called back vs. Green Bay last week on a flea flicker because of a holding penalty. There was another play where he got behind the Packers' defense but quarterback Jared Goff didn't see him.
"I can't wait to have him at the start of next season," St. Brown said. "And just moving forward because you have to respect that speed."
That speed helps open things up for guys like St. Brown.
It was clear Williams and Goff didn't have a ton of chemistry together at the end of the season. That comes with time the two weren't afforded due to injury.
Lions general manager Brad Holmes said this week that getting a chance to have an offseason and a training camp is going to make a difference for Williams.
"I don't think anything he did this year is anywhere remotely close to where he's going to go," Holmes said of Williams. "We'll determine what that role is and a lot of it is on him too. He's going to have to put the work in this offseason, he's going to have to be dedicated in his approach.
"We can provide all the resources and lay it all out, but he's going to have to take the accountability and do it on his own. But I've got a lot of faith and confidence in Jameson and obviously, because we traded up for him and made the move for him. We all had the same belief, so I think he's going to be just fine."
The Lions return veterans St. Brown, Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond from this year's receiver corps. DJ Chark is an unrestricted free agent.
Holmes moved up 20 spots to select Williams No. 12 overall knowing 2023 was always the goal of seeing his full potential. If he puts in the work, there's a lot of excitement for him based off the speed and explosiveness he showed in flashes this past season.