The Detroit Lions will have a decision to make in the coming months with regards to the 2021 NFL Draft, and the choice will revolve around not only who to select, but what position to target as well.
There’s going to be a lot of hand-wringing over the details between the offense or the defense, and already, some interesting names are rising to the forefront. In a new Yahoo Sports mock draft by writer Eric Edholm, the Lions select Alabama wideout Jaylen Waddle.
The reason for the move? Not only Waddle’s talent, but a hole at the position on the roster. Edholm wrote:
“Waddle limped back onto the field for the national title game, and his rare explosion was nowhere to be found that night, as he clearly was playing at less than full strength. Even still, Waddle had more receiving yards than DeVonta Smith when Waddle got hurt in the fifth game last season, and Waddle is expected to make a complete recovery.
The Lions could lose Kenny Golladay to free agency and appear to need to revamp the unit as a whole. Waddle’s yards-after-the-catch knack would be an excellent first building block for new GM Brad Holmes.”
Whether Waddle is the pick or not, Edholm’s point stands solidly. The Lions have a gaping hole at wideout, with Marvin Jones feeling unlikely to return, Danny Amendola unlikely to come back and questions surrounding the case of Kenny Golladay. Knowing this, expect to see wideout high on the list for plenty of mocks this coming season much like this one.
Kenny Golladay Decision Hangs Over Lions
Detroit will have a choice to make with regards to Golladay, who’s been a home-grown talent. Do they keep him and elect to use the franchise tag and then work a long-term deal, or do they simply cut bait with the productive wideout? The team could be looking at needing some big salary cap moves in order to finagle a Golladay reunion, but it’s something they should look closely at doing given the wideout’s overall talent.
No matter if they bring Golladay back or not, wideout could be on the menu. If they elect to let Golladay walk, that might only be more of the case.
Jaylen Waddle Highlights and Stats
Even though Waddle might not be on the forefront of everyone’s mind at this point given he missed much of the 2020 season, there’s no question he is still a great player and capable of making a major different on the field. With 1,965 yards to his credit and 17 touchdowns, Waddle has been one of the better wideouts in the Alabama program lately. In 2020, he went down with an October ankle injury which cost him most of the season, but when the comeback happens, it could only prove that Waddle is one of the best young wideouts set to come out. Health will be a big determining factor on where Waddle ends up, but if he is healthy, a team like Detroit could quickly cash in as these highlights show.
There’s obviously no questioning the talent of Waddle when considering the whole picture, and assuming he’s healthy, he could join names like Ja’Marr Chase and DeVonta Smith as top wideouts for the impending NFL Draft.
Expect to see the Lions tied to all of them in the months ahead.