Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes is expecting big things from second-year wide receiver Jameson Williams in 2023.
"I guess that's a good way to put it," Holmes said at the NFL Scouting Combine last week when asked if he considers Williams an additional first-round rookie this year. "It's kind of like a brand new first-round pick. You know, the goal when we originally drafted him, we didn't know really how much we were gonna get out of him, but it was good to have him get some kind of game experience to kind of feel the speed of the game.
"We're just gonna continue to do everything that we need to do to make sure that he's set up to succeed. He's got rare talent, rare ability. He's got a serious passion for the game. We expect big things from him, but obviously, we've got to do both our parts to make sure he's successful."
As a receiver, Williams caught one pass for a 41-yard touchdown, had a couple drops on nine targets, and had one carry for 40 yards playing in the last six games of the season after missing the first 11 rehabbing a torn ACL suffered in college. In just that short time on the field his rare speed was on full display.
Williams is expected to be a big part of Detroit's offense next season, which could impact how much special teams coordinator Dave Fipp will be able to utilize Williams' talents on special teams too.
"Obviously, it would be great to see him back there (as a returner) if that's what his role provides," Fipp said. "But I've said this all along a million times is it just depends on their role on offense and defense to what their role is going to be on special teams. Their role on special teams is more influenced by offense and defense than it is on what he can do on teams."
Williams averaged 35.2 yards on 10 kick returns in 2021 for Alabama and returned two for touchdowns, despite being one of the best receivers in the college game at the time.
"He's done it. I mean, when you talk to him — there's one thing I love about him. Like, he wants to do everything," Fipp said. "The guy loves playing. 'Be a gunner. I'll be a gunner. I want to be the punt returner, too. I got kick return, too, I would have housed that one.' And I think the great players are like that, and they want to do all that stuff. So, we'll just see how it goes."
View photos of the running backs at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine
Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said Williams is one of the fastest players he's ever been around, and he plans to move Williams all around in the offense, even some in the slot.
Just how much he's used on offense in any given week will factor into his usage on special teams. With the kind of speed Williams possesses, it sure would be fun to see him get an opportunity on special teams to make some big plays.