Just over a week ago, the Detroit Lions were dealt a bit of a blow losing wideout Jameson Williams for the first six games of 2023.
Williams was being counted on to have a big season for the team’s offense, and show as a deep threat. Without him, there was a thought the Lions might have to add something to the position in the NFL draft.
Detroit waited until the seventh-round, but they finally landed a player that could perhaps chip in as it relates to this in the form of North Carolina wideout Antoine Green.
Green, a big target, has been a deep threat in college for the Tar Heels. As he transitions to the NFL, it’s more than possible he can help chip in to account for the loss of Williams in the short term for Detroit as he develops.
As Justin Rogers of the Detroit News pointed out, Green shared a lot of similar traits to Williams in how he has been used as a main deep ball target. If he develops, that could
“Antoine Green was a frequent deep ball factor last season at North Carolina. Of his 65 targets, a third traveled 20 or more yards beyond the line of scrimmage. His average target depth was just over 18 yards. For reference, Jameson averaged 19.3 yards of depth on his handful of targets as a rookie. Chark was next at 15.9 ADOT, followed by Josh Reynolds (13.2) and Kalif Raymond (10.0). So Green, if he can acclimate quickly, could serve a role in Detroit’s offense with Jamo out,” Rogers tweeted.
Others saw those very traits in Green, and proclaimed him a great pick for the Lions. Twitter user Goat House also believes Green could be a good fit minus Williams.
“Antoine Green is a great pick by the Lions. Underrated WR. Great athlete and downfield target. Could see the field early with Williams suspension,” the account tweeted.
Some, including Matt Waldman, believe that Green could even grow his game and have “more in-store” as he progresses, which could make it a good pick for the Lions later on in the draft.
“Antoine Green is an X receiver who has more in store as he grows his game. Like it for Lions late,” Waldman tweeted.
There could certainly be some long-term value for Green in his development in Detroit, but it’s the short-term potential for him without Williams which could be exciting. It should serve as all the motivation in the world for Green to come in and work hard to earn a job.
Antoine Green Describes His Top Traits
What does Green do well at receiver? It’s easy to see what kind of skills he has on tape, but how about his mindset on the field?
According to the player himself, he is certainly prepared to be able to stretch the field as well as read a defense. As Green said to reporters including Nolan Bianch of the Detroit News, he also offers the ability to find holes, get open and play with some composure.
“Lions WR pick Antoine Green on his strengths: “I’m gonna stretch the field. I can read a defense pretty well, find a zone, do whatever I need to do to get open…and plenty of composure as well, is what’s special about me,” Green said in the interview according to Bianchi.
Those traits will be important for Green throughout his entire career, but could serve him well as a rookie as he chases down a role early on with the Lions. If he can show the kind of polish he describes, that would help the Lions.
Antoine Green’s College Stats & Highlights
As it relates to production, Green has been able to turn out some big seasons in college that could lend to some definite hope for when he gets to the pros.
In college, Green had some nice numbers during his time on the field, posting 1,710 yards and 15 touchdowns through the air in a five-year career. While he dealt with injuries, when he did see the field, he was pretty dynamic as a field stretcher.
Given the situation in Detroit with Williams, Green could have a shot to win a job with a solid training camp. If he’s able to do that, there’s no telling how the Lions may want to use him as a rookie. He could offer the team some immediate help down the field with the deep ball.
While in college, Green showed the ability to make moves and get down the field. The Lions will hope he can give them some of those traits right now. It’s something he believes he does well and others see in him as he makes the transition to the league.