The Detroit Lions have some major changes to make this offseason and some big decisions yet to be revealed on what the future of their franchise will look like.
Decisions made over the span of the next few weeks will go a long way toward determining what happens on those fronts for the team, and the Lions appear to be closer than ever to making a splash which could change the look of the team in 2022 and beyond.
The latest Lions news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lions newsletter here!
When thinking about what the Lions are poised to do, an early theme has begun to emerge for folks close to the situation. Specifically, Detroit Free Press beat writer Dave Birkett has gone out on a limb and predicted the Lions to make some noise within the free agent market, specifically at the key spot of wide receiver.
As Birkett wrote in a piece after being on the ground in Indianapolis, “my big takeaway from four days at the NFL combine this week is that I expect the Lions to be major players in the receiver market when free agency opens later this month.”
What could the Lions be looking to target at wideout to help their offense? There seems to be a host of bigger-name players that could be poised to become targets for the team that could fit this mold. Birkett’s piece cites the likes of Allen Robinson, Christian Kirk or Mike Williams as potential targets for the Lions in free agency. Other targets that are potentially big-time free agents could exist in the form of Chris Godwin, JuJu Smith-Schuster or D.J. Chark.
Regardless of the who, the biggest takeaway here is the Lions seem poised to spend some money to replenish a spot on the offense that is very needy heading into the offseason. For fans who watched the team struggle to make plays down the field most of 2021, this should be very welcome news.
Top Names Lions Could Target at Wide Receiver
Given folks now know how determined the team could be to make a move happen at the position, it seems sure the Lions could be able to land a player that transforms the look of their group entirely and gives the team yet another weapon to open things up down the field. Robinson and Kirk have been mentioned already as potential targets, and either would make sense for the Lions thanks to their big-play ability. Additionally, the Lions could look to make a more moderately priced attempt at a different free agent. Someone like Michael Gallup coming off injury, Sammy Watkins or Smith-Schuster could make sense for the team as players who might not command as big of a salary. Amari Cooper, if released, could also make sense.
Perhaps Detroit’s best move, though, would be to go all-in on Robinson as a player who can help fix the group with his ability to make big plays as shown here:
The Lions feel like a lock to land someone from this list, so it will be interesting to see who they manage to pursue and chase down when all is said and done.
Wideout Long Looked Like Top Offseason Target for Lions
It should not be a surprise to see the Lions rumored to be players within the impending wideout market, because the position is a huge need for the team moving forward. 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. 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. 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 role moving forward in Detroit. Add in the development of Trinity Benson and KhaDarel Hodge and the Lions do have some youngsters capable of making plays at the spot providing they continue to grow and develop. The Lions also have Quintez Cephus coming back from injury.
Though the Lions do have some pieces, it seems as if the team is going to be diving into the market completely at this position.