When the Detroit Lions decided to trade up for Jameson Williams in the 2022 NFL draft, it was with good reason. Not only did they think Williams was ready on the field, they knew he was poised for stardom off the field as well.
Though Williams has been injured to start his NFL career, he hasn’t let the frustration of pushing through ACL recovery and a potential delayed start to his year dampen his spirits. Far from it, actually, according to his new position coach Antwaan Randle El.
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Randle El knows he has a special study on his hands in Williams, which is why he was so excited to get his hands on the receiver during the draft. Now that Williams is in town and on the field, he hasn’t let his staff down at all in terms of what he has done on the field.
Speaking to the media on Monday, June 13, Randle El spoke about Williams and admitted he has been the total package for the Lions in terms of smarts, athleticism and everything else critical for a wideout. He’s also not worried about his readiness as a result.
“Just bringing him along as much as possible. When he’s ready, he’s ready. (He’ll be) ready to go but a smart kid in the classroom, knows ball and gets excited about ball every day so that is what you can tell about him just being out here. He knows ball and then getting the excitement. Like you can talk about what you talk about, how the clouds look in the trees and all that. (He’s) just kind of looking at you like you’re crazy but the minute you get talking about football, (he) kind of sits up in the seat and wants to know much more, give me more, give me more and that’s the kind of excitement that you get from veterans who’ve been in the league for a while. You’re getting it from a rookie and it’s good to see.”
So far, so good for Williams and his transition. Those traits will be huge in molding him into a successful player, so for a seasoned coach like Randle El to see this already is only a great sign.
Randle El Excited About Lions’ Other Wideout Moves
It wasn’t just Williams the team added. DJ Chark came into the mix, and the Lions also brought back a couple of productive players from 2021 in Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond as well. A position coach couldn’t really ask for more in terms of moves as well as the complete package in his players, and Randle El seems to understand how blessed he is.
“I mean I’m excited no question, and again, we talk about the guys that can play, the talent from that perspective and making plays and the physical nature and all that but then, yeah, guys who are smart. That’s what you want, you know, so it’s good to have them and we’re going to want to take this thing to another level,” he said.
Pushing for that level begins during training camp, which is something that Randle El is excited for already.
“Can’t wait to get back for training camp. Get us a good break, you’re fresh enough, you’re ready to go. We need to break because once we hit it, you’re in for it but it’s gonna be good,” Randle El said.
Iron is already beginning to sharpen iron at the position, which Randle El no doubt loves to see. Already, things are looking good in terms of his group.
Lions Receiver Depth Looks Solid for 2022
Most folks choose to look at bigger names the Lions have to offer in Amon-Ra St. Brown, DJ Chark and Williams at the position. While this is right to be the case, how strong the Lions end up being as a team will likely be determined by the more underrated glue players on the roster at the position. Quintez Cephus and Trinity Benson could have a lot to say about how deep the Lions are this year at wideout, and both are looking very strong already.
Benson has attacked the offseason with his hair on fire. He’s making major plays on the field in camp and has managed to dominate at times at his position. Considering how Benson may have been overlooked coming into the offseason, that’s very notable at this point in time for his development.
In terms of Cephus, he has continually put his best foot forward on the field making play after play this offseason. He turned in a sparkling one-handed catch for the team, and looks to be picking up where he left off before injury last year. The Lions might have better depth than many expect at wide receiver, and that could push them higher on these rankings when all is said and done if things come together.
Combined with Williams, Randle El should feel pretty blessed ahead of 2022. The interesting thing now will be to see how all of the players adapt and adjust and take to coaching.