Heading into the 2022 NFL Draft, many believed the Detroit Lions would use one of their eight picks to select a wide receiver but very few thought that wide receiver would be Jameson Williams out of Alabama.
In order to land Jameson Williams, the Lions had to trade all the way up to No. 12 in the first round and that is exactly what they did as they sent the No. 32, No. 34, and No. 66 overall picks to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for No. 12 and No. 46.
When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the Lions had used the No. 12 pick to select Williams, some were very excited, while others were baffled as to why the Lions would give up capital to move up for a wide receiver.
Well, one person who believes the Lions made the right move is Todd McShay of ESPN.
In fact, McShay called Jameson Williams the Lions' best draft pick.
Jameson Williams is the Detroit Lions' best draft pick
Let's put aside Williams for just a minute and discuss how the Lions got here. They started Thursday night off with Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, my top prospect in the entire class, at No. 2 and then were set to pick again at No. 32. Somehow Detroit managed to climb all the way to No. 12 without dealing a future first-rounder. All it cost the Lions was Nos. 32, 34 and 66 — and they even got No. 46 back in the swap. Even before you look at the prospect, that's a pretty good trade.
But then you have to land the right player — and I love Williams' game. Yes, he is recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee, suffered during the College Football Playoff national title game, and he won't be ready to roll in Week 1. That's fine. The Lions aren't contending this season, and there is zero reason to rush the speedy wideout onto the field before he's absolutely ready. Detroit's wide receiver depth chart currently stacks the likes of Amon-Ra St. Brown, DJ Chark Jr. and Josh Reynolds, so you bet it needs a difference-making pass-catcher. But I'm not concerned that it might not come until late in the 2022 season.
Williams, who transferred into Alabama from Ohio State, is a burner who just explodes off the line of scrimmage. He does a really good job adjusting to throws outside his frame, and he is tough to contain when he has the ball in his hands. He will beat you vertically, but he can also pick up chunks of yardage after the catch. And who knows? Maybe the Lions are back atop the board next April and can reunite Williams with his 2021 quarterback at Alabama, Bryce Young. They did plenty of damage together; Williams piled up 1,572 receiving yards and 15 touchdown catches last season.
Nation, who do you believe was the Lions' best value pick in the 2022 NFL Draft?
Was Desmond Ridder the Right Quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons?
After a long wait for every quarterback not named Kenny Pickett (who was the 20th overall pick), Cincinnati‘s Desmond Ridder was finally the second quarterback drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft with the 74th overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons.
Ridder offers the superb combination of being a prospect who is younger (22.7) and experienced (49 games with 10-plus pass attempts). His final-season adjusted yards per attempt of 9.2 slots in second — trailing only Pickett — among the quarterbacks in this class who were expected to go fairly early.
From a fantasy perspective, Ridder will be an intriguing option as soon as he gets on the field thanks to his rushing ability. He ran for 18 touchdowns over his final two seasons at Cincinnati.