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O'HARA: Jameson Williams could be 'game changer' Lions want

Jameson Williams felt like he was getting more than a job opportunity by having the Detroit Lions draft him in the first round Thursday night in Las Vegas.

For Williams, it was a show of faith from the Lions that he will be recovered from a season-ending knee injury in time for Williams to contribute to the offense as a big-play wide receiver.

"It means a lot, to show that they had faith," Williams said in an introductory press conference Friday evening. "We talked a little bit earlier (before the draft) that you just have to understand that when I get back we're going to keep going."

There is no such thing as an opportune time for a player to get injured. The timing for Williams' injury could not have been more inopportune for him. He was injured during Alabama's loss to SEC rival Georgia in the national championship game.

It was a personal loss for Williams because of how it could have affected his status in the 2022 draft. At the time of the injury, it raised questions about when Williams would be able to practice.

Williams said he is 13 weeks past his surgery, and his rehabilitation program is progressing well.

"Everything is going right," he said. "I'm getting back into it. I should be able to go in training camp. I'm shooting for training camp.

"I'm looking forward to having fun. When it comes, we'll have a lot of fun."

Williams was a star sprinter growing up in St. Louis. That speed contributed to general manager Brad Holmes trading with the Vikings to daft Williams 12th overall after earlier taking defensive end Aidan Hutchinson of Michigan second overall.

After two seasons as a backup at Ohio State, Williams transferred to Alabama. He filled the void of speed receiver in the Crimson Tide's offense.

View photos from the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas and inside the Detroit Lions draft room back in Allen Park, Michigan.

He played 15 games, with 15 starts, and caught 79 passes with 15 TDs and an average of 19.9 yards per catch.

"I told you guys I want to get game changers," Holmes said Thursday night. "We do think Jameson has those abilities in him to be a game changer. He can flip the field, all that.

"We have to do our part, and make sure that he's set up for success. We need to develop him. He has to get healthy. We do think we have the resources in place for him."

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