Little-Known Small-School Wideout Named Best Draft Fit for Lions

Isaiah Weston

Getty Isaiah Weston celebrates a play in 2017 with Northern Iowa.

The Detroit Lions are putting the finishing touches on their planning ahead of the 2022 NFL draft, and a big question remains if the team is going to add to their wideout group at all.

It’s more than possible this is going to be the case, and with one of the deepest draft class in decades at the position, who will the best player be for the team? It’s not an easy question to answer with so many different guys in the mix, but a potential answer has come to the forefront.

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Recently, ESPN’s Matt Bowen took a closer look at projecting the best fits at wideout for teams, and when it came to the Lions, there was an interesting choice. With many folks believing the Lions will go for a bigger name player early, Bowen bucks that trend and instead sends the Lions little-known Isaiah Weston from Northern Iowa as the top fit.

As for why that is the case, Bowen wrote he believes size and speed will be a big advantage for the player once he transitions into the NFL. Specifically, though, Bowen thinks that the team that nabs Weston has a chance at refining his skills in a big way.

Bowen wrote that “the traits are there for a prospect with the size and catch radius to develop as an outside target who can also be deployed in the slot to create matchup advantages with his long speed and size.” That means he believes the Lions could develop him well with their staff.

It’s possible that a guy like Weston could be a hidden-gem in the end for a team like Detroit.

Weston’s College Stats & Highlights

While Weston has been a beast on the workout circuit, it’s far from the first time he has made a big impact on the field. Weston has put up some numbers with small-school Northern Iowa, including in 2021 when he put up 883 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Isaiah Weston HighlightsNFL Wide Receiver Prospect Isaiah Weston Highlights2022-03-12T01:26:06Z

In the workout phase is when Weston has really excelled. He put up some big time numbers at the NFL combine, where he ran a 4.4 40 yard-dash. Some video shows what kind of player Weston was

UNI Isaiah Weston excels at 2022 NFL Combine2022-03-04T04:56:44Z

The production as well as the numbers show what kind of player Weston could be when he gets into the pros. Whether he can deliver on that or not remains to be seen, but the potential is there like Bowen talks about.

Wideout Long Looked Like Top Offseason Target for Lions

The Lions didn’t make a splash signing in the 2021 offseason at the spot, and that hurt them at times on the field. Jared Goff needs a bit more help at receiver to feel good about what the Lions’ offense can become, and taking a big swing on a free agent or a high draft pick would be an easy way to perhaps change the narrative ahead of 2022. Detroit signed DJ Chark which will help, but they could still use a younger player to round out the group. Far too often, the Detroit offense lacked big plays, which culminated in the 18th rated passing attack in the league.

The good news? There are some options already on the roster to pitch in as well. In Amon-Ra St. Brown, the Lions have a potential young stud developing. The team has also witnessed Kalif Raymond become a late-season force, and since signing off waivers, Josh Reynolds has become a major difference-maker for the team and a player who could be in the mix for a consistent big-time role moving forward in Detroit. The Lions also have Quintez Cephus coming back from injury, so the potential is there providing the team can make the right kind of addition.

Though the Lions do have some pieces, they are going to need a draft pick to feel better about where they are heading in the future. Whether they take a guy like Weston or someone else, help has to come for the Lions in the draft as well.

READ NEXT: Dan Campbell Reveals What Lions May Have Interest in During NFL Draft

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