Just a plain rookie
We all know by now that the Lions had a good, solid draft last April. They got five starters out of it who will be key building blocks for the future.
At the end of the season nine of the 10 draftees were still with the team. Only tackle Lydon Murtha, a seventh-rounder, was gone because he had been signed off the practice squad by Miami during the season.
Rookie Derrick Williams, a third-rounder out of Penn State, proved to be a bit of a head-scratcher.
Martin Mayhew, the Lions general manager, said he expected Williams to struggle as a receiver. If you go back to Penn State he was in the wildcat, he was the gadget type of guy. He was not fully developed as a receiver, Mayhew said. I did not anticipate his struggle as a returner and especially catching the ball. ... I thought he would do a better job catching punts for us.
Williams was benched as a returner during the season and then, due to injuries, given more chances.
The Lions have not given up on him.
Hes a guy who hasnt forgotten how to play football. ... I thought we had some very advanced rookies this year in terms of Matthew Stafford, Louis Delmas, DeAndre Levy. Then we had some other rookies who were just plain rookies. I anticipate hes going to play better next year.