We’ve already taken a look at Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Bryant Johnson and Dennis Northcutt. Today, the focus is on 2nd year player Derrick Williams.
|12||Derrick Williams||WR||5-11||197||2||Penn State|
Selected in the third round in 2009, he is at this point staring the word “bust” squarely in the face. Whether unfairly or not, he was drafted that high for his return ability. His skills as a developmental WR were supposed to be a bonus. At this point, he has showed little/nothing in either the punt return or kick return game. Essentially, at this point he either needs to progress enough in his WR skills to land a spot on the roster, find where he lost his return skills, or preferably both.
The Lions don’t have total confidence in him, as they brought in a couple of other players with return ability. The biggest knock on Williams is that return ability is supposed to be an area where a rookie can contribute immediately. He didn’t. That being said, he did bring more to the WR position than was expected – showing he has the possibility to develop into a solid #3 WR – possibly more. The key word there is “develop” – he showed some skills, but isn’t there yet by far. WR typcially are expected to take 2 or 3 years to settle in to the NFL, so he is right on a normal pace as long as he continues to improve.
Finding a consistent #3 WR in the third wouldn’t be all bad — but it would be better if that player returned kicks and punts, which is what the Lions were looking for in Williams. Being a third rounder, and still having that dreaded “p” word (potential) I feel as though he is going to get one of the roster spots left.
For those keeping count, if Bryant Johnson is given another year that fills four of a possible 5 spots at WR — leaving quite a few players vying either for the last spot, or to overtake B. Johnson or D. Williams and steal their spot.