The Detroit Lions waited until the 5th round of the draft to scoop up a wide receiver in Quintez Cephus, and while his name isn’t well known to many, his stats are significant.
In the aftermath of his selection, folks pointed to the fact that Cephus struggled with his 40 yard dash, running a 4.7 at the NFL Combine. It’s important to look below the stats and see some other important facts about Cephus’ game, however. Interestingly enough, what Cephus might lack in straight line speed, he more than makes up for with hands.
Cephus has been credited as being a solid route runner. Additionally, he is a guy who snags nearly every pass thrown his way as a player with one of the best catch rates in the entire class as Pro Football Focus pointed out.
Speed is merely only one aspect that’s important for a wideout and what Cephus might lack in that aspect he makes up with hands. He brings down tough catches and that’s an aspect which should suit him well in the NFL and perhaps even make his adjustment to the league a bit smoother.
Quintez Cepuhs Compared to Hall of Fame Wideout
While Cephus might be a mere 5th round pick, some strong value was seen in the selection by NFL.com reporter Gil Brandt. As Brandt said, he believes Cephus was a good selection for the Lions, and he thinks he shares physical similarities with Michael Irvin, former Dallas Cowboys wideout. Irvin went in the 1st round and Cephus went later, but there are similarities to the eye of someone formally in personnel.
This is lofty praise for Cephus, but interestingly enough, his newest teammate Jeff Okudah claimed Cephus was the best player he competed against in college and someone who made him evolve his own game at cornerback. Obviously, the players will get to compete against each other all the time now.
It will be interesting to see how good Cephus and Okudah can make each other moving forward, and if Cephus can take his place amongst the best in the league like Brandt thinks.
Quintez Cephus Stats
In college, Cephus put up a solid 1,496 yards and 9 touchdowns in a run-heavy Badgers offense. He’s a player that has some potential that could be developed into something a little more, and with the Lions needing wideouts for the future, it’s possible they could take a couple swings in the middle to late rounds at the position.
Cephus didn’t have a fast run at the NFL Combine running in the 4.7’s, but improved things during his early pro day with Wisconsin. More than the speed, it’s the ability of Cephus to run good routes and make solid catches which impresses. As a result of that, he could be a solid pro who sticks in the league.
Lions Were Projected Landing Wideout
Through the years, the Lions have seen their share of flops at the wideout position, and that leaves plenty gun shy as it relates to drafting at the spot. Still, however, the Lions are going to have to make picking up a player a priority and that’s just what a top NFL analyst sees.
Andy Benoit recently admitted that he wouldn’t be shocked to see the Lions prioritize the wideout position this year in the draft given the situation the team is likely to face in the future.
With the Cephus move late in the draft, that’s just what they did.
Detroit likely wants to extend Kenny Golladay and could bring back Marvin Jones, but outside of that, there is a big need for pass caters on the team which could lead to this position being focused on at some point over the weekend.
There are no shortage of elite options for teams to look into both early and late. Names like CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, Justin Jefferson, Laviska Shenault, Jalen Reagor, KJ Hamler and Brandon Aiyuk figure to be some of the players who are taken early on. Later, names like Michael Pittman Jr. as well as Devin Duvernay have a chance to be some late round steals and standouts. Those guys went elsewhere, but Cephus fell into the lap of the Lions in round 5.
Now, he will get to catch passes in a Detroit offense which was very revved up in 2019 before injury struck. The stats say he could be catching a lot of them.
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