As soon as a prospect's name is called in the NFL draft, teams, fans and media members immediately begin thinking about what impact the player might have.

Sometimes, however, the rookie year is an exercise of patience.

Maybe the player needs more time to adequately adapt to the speed or lifestyle of the NFL. Perhaps the depth chart is crowded. Injuries are a common setback, too.

Many first-round prospects from the 2022 NFL draft have made an immediate impact. But for the above reasons and more, a few rookies are still waiting for their breakout opportunity.

Jameson Williams, WR, Detroit Lions

Whenever Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams makes his NFL debut, you can probably cross him off this list. It should be only a matter of time before the Alabama product is a core piece of the Lions' receiving corps.

At Bama in 2021, Williams reeled in 79 passes for 1,572 yards—an incredibly dynamic 19.9 per catch—with 15 touchdowns. He also returned two kickoffs for scores. But his college career ended with a torn left ACL in January's national championship loss to Georgia.

The Lions understood when they took Williams with the No. 12 overall pick that he would be unavailable for most, if not all, of the 2022 season. Typical ACL recovery time is 9-12 months.

The bright side, though, is that Williams is back at practice and ramping up for his return, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. He'll be in the lineup soon.

Plus, next year, the Lions may need to replace DJ Chark's snaps. He'll return to free agency this offseason.

 

Trevor Penning, OL, New Orleans Saints

When the New Orleans Saints chose Trevor Penning with the 19th pick, they envisioned him shoring up an on offensive line needing to replacing free-agent departure Terron Armstead.

However, Penning had a rocky training camp, and he started fights in three consecutive days. He might not have opened the season as the starter anyway, but a turf toe injury sidelined Penning until Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers.

In his debut, the Northern Iowa lineman played only six offensive snaps and one on special teams.

Penning remains the Saints' long-term plan at left tackle, but veteran James Hurst has performed well at the spot this season. Penning will likely spend most of his rookie campaign as a reserve.