Jameson Williams appears to be making his anticipated Detroit Lions debut this week.
The No. 12 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft was activated by the Lions on Saturday.
With the activation, Williams is able to suit up against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at Ford Field.
The speedy Alabama receiver’s debut is one of the most anticipated in Detroit Lions history.
Will Jameson Williams play this week?
The answer appears to be yes.
Eyes were raised on Nov. 21 when the Lions announced that Williams was practicing for the first time with the team.
Williams suffered a torn ACL in the College Football Playoff Championship on Jan. 10. He began this season on the reserve/non-football injury list to start the season.
Once Williams started practice, he had a 21-day window to be activated to the roster. While head coach Dan Campbell didn’t think it was likely Williams would be activated this week, the Lions went ahead and did it on Saturday.
Earlier in the week, Campbell offered up the following quote to All Lions when asked if Williams, as well as veteran defensive end Romeo Okwara, would likely not play this Sunday.
“I think so,” Campbell claimed when asked if it would be a tall order for both to play. “But there again, we’re open to anything. And they’re certainly gonna get more reps than they’ve gotten this week, so we’re gonna get a real good look at them.”
Both Williams and Okwara were activated on Saturday, leaving the door open for both to play on Sunday against the Jaguars.
How fast is Jameson Williams?
For some Detroit Lions fans, they may be wondering just what Jameson Williams will add to the Detroit Lions offense.
The answer – speed.
Due to his ACL injury, Williams was unable to take part in the NFL combine or any draft prep workouts. However, he has stated he has 4.4 40-yard dash speed.
If the Madden video game franchise means anything to you, they gave Williams a 98 speed rating. That’s a 98 out of a possible 99.
Williams is expected to give the Lions a speed threat they don’t currently have. He can stretch the defense with deep routes and also make big plays out of short passes like screens and crosses if he gets open in space.
Last season with Alabama, Williams caught 79 passes for 1,572 yards (19.9 average) and 15 touchdowns.
Williams was also a kick returner for the Tide and had two touchdowns in the 2021 season. He also was a gunner on the punt coverage team.
Anticipated Detroit Lions debuts
Williams’ debut for the Lions has grown in anticipation.
Because of his injury prolonging his debut, it has made fans more anxious to see him in uniform with each passing game.
There’s little doubt that Williams’ debut is one of the most anticipated in this franchise’s history.
Here’s some other anticipated debuts from Lions first round picks and what took place.
Sanders was the No. 3 selection of the 1989 NFL Draft. The Oklahoma State running back debuted on Sept. 10 of that year in a home game in the Pontiac Silverdome against the Phoenix Cardinals. Sanders had nine carries for 71 yards and a touchdown in a 16-13 loss. Sanders went on to rush for 15,269 yards in his career and was the 1997 NFL MVP.
The Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from Houston was selected No. 7 overall in the 1990 NFL Draft. He wouldn’t debut until Oct. 14 of that season in a 43-24 loss on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs. Ware was 4 of 7 passing for 65 yards and a TD. It was actually one of Ware’s better showings. He appeared in just 14 games over his four-year Lions career and had five touchdowns to eight interceptions.
Harrington was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. The Oregon quarterback didn’t start his first game, but did appear in the 2002 season opener on Sept. 8. The Lions lost to the Miami Dolphins 49-21 and Harrington replaced Mike McMahon late in the game. He was 4 of 11 passing for just 41 yards. Harrington didn’t amount to much in Detroit, having an 18-37 record over four years with the Lions.
A Michigan State receiver, Rogers was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. He made his league debut on Sept. 7 of that season at home against the Arizona Cardinals. Rogers caught four passes for 38 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately injuries plagued Rogers and he lasted just three seasons in the NFL, appearing in 15 games.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft made his debut on Sept. 9 of that year in a road game against the Oakland Raiders. The Georgia Tech receiver, also known as Megatron, caught four passes for 70 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown. Detroit won 36-21 and Johnson went on to a Hall of Fame career.
The Georgia quarterback was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He made his debut on Sept. 13 of that season in a road game against the New Orleans Saints. It was a debut to forget. Stafford was 16 of 37 passing for 205 yards with three interceptions and no touchdowns in a 45-27 loss. Despite that, Stafford would go on to set nearly every Lions passing record before being traded to the L.A. Rams where he won a Super Bowl.
The Nebraska defensive tackle was selected No. 2 overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. He came in with a lot of buzz for his Sept. 12 debut on the road against the Chicago Bears. Suh would record one sack for his lone tackle of the game in a 19-14 loss, also known as “The Process Game.” Suh played five seasons with Detroit, recording 36 sacks. That included a career-high 10 in his rookie season.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft made his debut on Sept. 11 of this year at Ford Field against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Michigan defensive end had just one tackle in a 38-35 loss. While not a stellar debut, Hutchinson has since added 5.5 sacks and two interceptions this season and proving to be a difference-maker.