New Detroit Lions receiver Jameson Williams didn’t laugh, cry, dance, or shout when he took the stage at the 2022 NFL Draft. His face lacked the brilliant — and often heartbreaking — prideful grin that other draftees displayed upon posing with Roger Goodell and staring out at the vast crowd in front of them.
Williams, the 12th overall selection in last week’s draft, really didn’t do anything — and his inaction caught social media users by surprise.
Some, understandably, speculated the former Alabama standout was unhappy the long-suffering Lions traded up to pick him. Although Williams was widely considered one of the draft’s top receiver prospects, he wasn’t frequently linked to the Lions, who were instead expected to use one of their two first-round picks on a quarterback.
So, what had Williams appearing less than thrilled on draft night and at an introductory press conference? During a May 5 appearance on Complex Sports Live, the 21-year-old dismissed the idea that he was (or remains) frustrated about joining the Lions.
“I was just tired a little bit,” Williams said of his draft-night reaction. “I had to kick it the night before — it was a lifetime experience.”
Detroit sent three picks (No. 32, 34, and 66) to the rival Minnesota Vikings in order to trade up and acquire Williams, who tallied 70 catches, 1,572 yards, and 15 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide last season. Eleven of his 15 scores went for at least 30 yards, and he also returned two kicks for touchdowns.
Although Williams tore his ACL in January’s National Championship Game, the 6-foot-2, 179-pound wideout said he’s “ahead of schedule” in his rehab. As of publication, it remained unclear whether or not he would be ready to play in Week 1.
“They traded up for a reason, trusted me and my playmaking ability,” Williams said. “We gonna put everything together after my rehab, and we’re gonna show the world.”
Although Lions fans should be excited about the receiver duo of Williams and Amon-Ra St. Brown, the team still lacks a clear future at quarterback; Detroit opted not to select a quarterback in last week’s draft. Barring a trade, Jared Goff will remain the starting quarterback when the 2022 season begins.
If Williams isn’t happy now, he should start hoping the Lions have an opportunity to select Alabama quarterback Bryce Young in next year’s draft. Detroit would only incur a $5 million cap cut if the Lions cut Goff after June 1, 2023
Remember, kids: losing is fun if it means Bryce Young.