A team that needs as much help as the Detroit Lions do can’t be too picky when it comes to upgrading positions, but once in a while, some spots do fall though the cracks when things get rolling during an offseason.
The Lions have major needs on both offense and defense, but one might stand out above all the rest at the key position of wide receiver. Detroit needs to find a way to generate more big plays down the field, and that’s something the team cannot afford to forget once the draft comes around in April.
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That’s a big concern for the team, and something that they are even being warned against forgetting about this year during the draft. Recently, Bleacher Report and writer David Kenyon took a look at pointing out the one move every team needs to find a way to avoid this offseason. For the Lions, that move was seen as making sure to add a wideout to the team as part of a very deep class.
As Kenyon explains in his writeup, “if the Lions don’t target a wideout—and, personally, I’d be aiming for two—within the opening three rounds, that would be a major misstep.”
Last season, Brad Holmes almost made that misstep, waiting until the fourth-round to secure USC stud Amon-Ra St. Brown. In hindsight, that move looks genius now given how St. Brown came along. Holmes will want to put his good scouting eye at the position to much earlier use in 2022 though, given the way his team seems to need weaponry.
Lions Need Multiple Wideouts This Offseason
Whether it’s in the NFL draft or free agency, the Lions have to be aggressive from the get-go as it relates to landing some new wide receivers for their offense. The team needs to remember how much they crave playmaking on offense and strive to make some of those fixes come to life. Detroit has brought back Josh Reynolds, but if they let the rest of their free agents in Kalif Raymond and KhaDarel Hodge go to market, they could be looking at a situation where multiple players will need to come back to help in filling voids. Detroit’s most proven veteran home-grown wide receiver in Quintez Cephus is coming off injury and will need to re-establish some timing within the offense with Jared Goff.
Multiple additions feels like the way the Lions should be going at this point in time, and the team needs to lean on the draft as a way to find multiple difference makers for the roster.
2022 NFL Draft Class Looking Deep at Wideout
If there’s one piece of good news for the Lions, it’s the fact that the team should be able to land multiple potential difference-makers at the deep spot of wideout in this draft. The NFL combine proved that the Lions should have a shot at nabbing a top prospect. From the start of the draft to players in later rounds, the Lions feel like they are well-positioned at wideout. Some of the bigger names to make some waves early on have been Arkansas pass catcher Treylon Burks, Memphis receiver Calvin Austin, Purdue’s David Bell, Penn State’s Jahon Dotson, Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore and North Dakota State’s Christian Watkins.
No matter who the Lions look at drafting and no matter who they might be able to get, the team should be able to find a competent playmaker to pair with some of their other young players on offense to take a leap forward. Getting that done will allow the Lions to also add a big-time player in free agency and transform their wideout core into one of the better ones in the league with plenty of easy upside for the future.
This cautionary message is a good one for the Lions. Missing out on the deepest wideout class in decades and not double-dipping would be very counterproductive to the future of the team.