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Lions view Jameson Williams like a bonus first-round draft pick

Mike Florio and Chris Simms reveal who they believe could make the biggest splash as the dominos begin to fall with free agency, from Javon Hargrave to Orlando Brown and more.

The Lions traded up to the 12th overall pick in last year’s NFL draft to select wide receiver Jameson Williams, knowing he wouldn’t do much as a rookie. Williams tore his ACL playing for Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, and as a rookie he needed time to recover and ended up catching just one pass.

But Williams is now at full speed, and Lions General Manager Brad Holmes views his presence on the 2023 roster as like the addition of a bonus first-round draft pick.

“It’s kind of like a brand new first-round pick,” Holmes said, via the team’s website. “You know, the goal when we originally drafted him, we didn’t know really how much we were gonna get out of him, but it was good to have him get some kind of game experience to kind of feel the speed of the game. We’re just gonna continue to do everything that we need to do to make sure that he’s set up to succeed. He’s got rare talent, rare ability. He’s got a serious passion for the game. We expect big things from him, but obviously, we’ve got to do both our parts to make sure he’s successful.”

The Lions also have the No. 6 overall pick (from the Rams) and the No. 18 overall pick (their own) in this year’s draft, so Williams won’t be the only young talent added to a Detroit roster that was surprisingly competitive in 2022 and may be better in 2023.