Lions’ Carlton Davis Sounds Off on Facing Jameson Williams in OTAs

Jameson Williams

Getty New Detroit Lions cornerback Carlton Davis addressed the competition he's had during OTAs with wide receiver Jameson Williams.

It’s still early in the NFL offseason calendar, but the push to the Super Bowl has arguably already begun for the Detroit Lions. It has certain started for veteran cornerback Carlton Davis and third-year receiver Jameson Williams.

Going up against each other in a few practices during OTAs, Davis and Williams each suggest they are pushing one another in competition. Davis, in particularly, spoke emphatically about how much their offseason battles are preparing one another for the season.

“I’m making him better. That’s what I’m here to do,” Davis told reporters of Williams on May 23. “I’m here to make him one of the best receivers in the league, man. That’s my goal.

“That’s what everybody who I go up against on my team [will say]. I’m going to push them, they are going to push me back. That’s the competitive spirit I’ve been talking about.”

The Lions are counting on both Davis and Williams being key components to the team’s winning formula during 2024. Detroit traded a third-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Davis in March after the team finished 27th in passing yards allowed last season.

During 2023, the Lions were second in passing yards on offense. But the team must replace veteran wideout Josh Reynolds, who left in NFL free agency.

Lions’ Carlton Davis Highly Complementary of Jameson Williams

With Reynolds, the Lions are replacing their No. 2 receiver from the past two years. While Williams was a 2022 first-round pick, he has yet to reach 70 receiving yards in a game.

But by allowing Reynolds to depart, the Lions are clearly signaling a strong belief in Williams. Davis confirmed on May 23 that there’s a lot of reasons to be optimistic that 2024 will be a breakout campaign for the 23-year-old.

“He has a bright future,” Williams said of Davis. “I love going up against him. He has so many tools in his toolbox, man. He can beat you running fast. He can snap down. He’s a threat in a lot of different ways.”

Davis appeared to imply that he’s getting better too facing Williams on a daily basis in offseason workouts.

“When you’re going up against a guy like that every day, you have no choice but to get better.”

Williams averaged an incredible 19.6 yards per catch at Ohio State and Alabama during his college career. With Alabama during 2021, he had 79 catches for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns, posting 19.9 yards per reception.

In Detroit, Williams has shown that ability in flashes. He had a 45-yard receiving touchdown against Davis and the Buccaneers during Week 6 last year. In the NFC championship game, Williams rushed for a 42-yard touchdown.

Facing a difficult opponent every day in practice will likely help Williams bring together his tools for the Lions this fall.

Williams Addresses Competing Against Davis in Practice

In addition to Davis, Williams also addressed what it’s been like in offseason workouts squaring off against Davis.

Williams’ answer was more technical, as he called attention to how well Davis has been covering him closely.

“Every single time, it’s been good work,” Williams told reporters on May 23. “Nobody likes to press, but when he presses, it’s real good work. Even his feet, how he plays, everything, his patience and the way he plays his game, it’s good. I like going against him.

“It was good work, both ways.”

If Davis can be a lock down cornerback, that would be a huge boost for the Lions defense. In addition to finishing 27th in pass defense, Detroit was also tied for 29th in yards allowed per pass attempt.

Furthermore, the Lions have to replace cornerback Cameron Sutton, who the team released this offseason. Sutton led Detroit in defensive snaps during 2023.

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