For weeks leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft, I suggested the Detroit Lions do something bold. Do something out of the ordinary.
One idea I threw out was taking Liberty’s Malik Willis with the No. 2 overall pick. I felt that was the time to reach for their future quarterback. Well, that didn’t happen. In fact, no team selected him in the first round. On the flipside, I felt that if they were to draft an EDGE rusher, Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux should be the pick.
That didn’t happen either. Instead, they selected Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson. And after some thought, it was definitely a sound decision. The Lions brass knows exactly what they’re getting out of the former Wolverine.
The Detroit Lions didn’t listen to people like me and my bold suggestions. And for Lions fans, thank the heavens above that they didn’t.
Because the bold move they made was one I didn’t see coming. And that was the trade with Minnesota Vikings. The Lions trading their 32nd, 34th, and 66th overall picks to the Vikings for their 12th and 46th picks was sensational. In fact, it was a fleece. And even more impressive is that they fleeced a division rival.
Then what did they do next? They took that 12th overall pick and snagged Alabama’s Jameson Williams.
Hold up! What a minute! What?
Yes, the Detroit Lions moved up, and selected the best wideout prospect in the draft. Now there are concerns with Williams. He’s coming off an ACL injury. And the Lions have a chequered history with drafting injured players. One that immediately comes to mind is Ryan Broyles. In the 2012 draft, the Lions drafted the former Oklahoma Sooner with the 54th overall pick in the second round.
And like Williams, Broyles too, was coming off an ACL injury. However, there a few things to factor. That was a decade ago. There are advances in science and rehabilitation from injuries where an ACL injury is the career-threatening injury that it once was.
Secondly, Broyles isn’t half the athlete that Jameson Williams is.
The Lions trading up to grab Williams is the type of stuff that energizes a fan base. Lions General Brad Holmes said for weeks leading up to the draft that he wanted his “game-changer” and he got him.
When he’s fully healed, Williams will join DJ Chark, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Reynolds, and T.J. Hockenson to create a group of wideouts with limitless potential. On paper, the Lions could have the best receiving corps in the NFC North.
Well, besides the Minnesota Vikings, that is.
Jameson Williams may become a nightmare after he heals because he has speed that rivals Tyreek Hill. He’s a guy that will be able to create separation with ease. And on top of that, he has the potential to become Detroit’s new “YAC King.” On top of that, he’s an incredible route runner.
For a Detroit Lions team that has Jared Goff under contract for the next two seasons, they’ve done an impressive job of surrounding him with some new “toys” this offseason.
Time will certainly tell if this was a genius or reckless move by the Lions. For now, though, the Lions front office deserves a round of applause. Instead of waiting for a receiver to fall to them at No. 32 or No. 34, which could have been a good piece, they swung for the fences, and traded up for a guy that could be great for them.
Bravo, Detroit Lions. Bravo!
Follow Kory Woods on Twitter at KoryEWoods.