Let’s take a look at the redraft and dynasty fantasy football impact of the Detroit Lions’ selection of Jameson Williams.
Team Drafted: Detroit Lions
Pick Selected: No. 12 overall
2022 Redraft Fantasy Football Outlook
Jameson Williams continues the Detroit Lions’ obsession with speed from their receiving depth chart. Kalif Raymond, D.J. Chark, and Williams give the Lions a few players that can burn up the turf. Williams’ injury could lead to a slow start, but his lid lifting ability will be evident as soon as he’s ready to roll. This season, the Lions could see an uptick in their neutral passing rate with Williams, Chark, T.J. Hockenson, and Amon-Ra St. Brown filling out the target tree. Williams will need that to be anything more than a WR4 this season.
– Derek Brown
Initial redraft ranking: WR52
2022 NFL Draft Profile
Williams arrived in Alabama and immediately threw his hat into the ring for top dog in the passing attack, competing with John Metchie (WR). Metchie was coming off a solid season in 2020 with 55 receptions, 916 receiving yards, and six receiving touchdowns. Williams took a back seat in target share (23.2% vs. 20.6%), but he led the lead in receiving yards, yards per reception, and receiving touchdowns by a wide margin.
|Among FBS wide receivers with 50 or more targets (*Statistics via PFF*):|
|Year||Formation alignment slot/wide||Yards per route run (rank)|
|2021||27.9% / 71.9%||3.12 (13th of 251)|
After digging deeper into Williams’ numbers and marrying this with his film, I was duly impressed. As a primary outside threat, Williams ranked 13th (minimum 50 targets) in Yards per route run among FBS wide receivers. This lofty mark can be explained as soon as you turn on the game tape.
|Jameson Williams receiving numbers at different receiving depths
Rank: among all wide receivers with 15 or more targets at each depth level
(*Statistics via PFF*):
|Depth of target
(% of overall target volume)
|Receiving yards (rank)||Yards per route run||Passer rating when targeted (rank)|
|20+ (27.8%)||671 (5th)||20.9 (14th)||114.6 (46th)|
|10-19 (29.6%)||552 (4th)||16.2 (2nd)||140.0 (14th)|
|0-9 (24.3%)||200 (115th)||7.14 (128th)||127.1 (16th)|
Williams is a well-rounded receiver who can win at all field levels. He ranked top five in receiving yards on deep and intermediate routes while posting top-14 marks in Yards per route run on deep and intermediate passes. He also finished top 16 in Passer rating for good measure when targeted on short and intermediate routes.
Williams wins with route-running, hot and nasty speed, and silky-smooth footwork. He flashes crisp routes with the ability to subtly change direction without losing an ounce of speed. He also gets up to top speed with mind-numbing immediate acceleration in the blink of an eye. His deep routes and electric run-after-the-catch prowess make this pull-away speed easy to see. The vertical push in his routes, combined with the instantaneous skill to sink his hips and gear down on a comeback route, is a joy to watch. It’s easy to see why rumors have floated around that Williams is the WR1 on some NFL teams’ draft boards.
As with every prospect, Williams can further hone some small parts of his game. Standing at 6-2 and only 179 pounds, he has physicality issues at times. His 38.5% contested target catch rate (per PFF) reflects this. He does an excellent job of using his hands with varying his releases and blinding foot speed to beat the press, but he can be knocked off his routes and allow the occasional corner to get in close. The lack of play strength is also seen with only 12 missed tackles (50th, minimum 50 targets), but he more than makes up for it with his speed. These quick feet carried him to the fourth-highest yards after catch mark (9.3) among all wideouts with 50 or more targets. It wouldn’t shock me if we look back at this class in two years and conclude that Williams should have been ranked as the WR1.
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