The NFL is only one week into its 2023 season. But according to Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, the Detroit Lions proved they will be contenders with their victory against the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs.
As contenders, the Lions shouldn’t miss their opportunity to make a deep playoff run, according to the Bleacher Report writer.
So with that in mind, Knox named the Lions a possible trade destination for former first-round wide receiver Marquise Brown.
“The Detroit Lions might also want to consider Brown,” Knox wrote. “Amon-Ra St. Brown is a star No. 1 receiver, but the team lacks speed in the passing game.
“After beating the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1, Detroit has arrived as a title contender, and it should be willing to go all-in on 2023.”
He’s failed to become the No. 1 receiver he was expected to be when the Baltimore Ravens drafted him at No. 25 overall in the 2019 NFL draft. But he could still be an attractive receiver if available on the trade market because of his speed.
Brown didn’t participate at the 2019 NFL scouting combine due to a Lisfranc injury. However, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds while playing at Canyon Community College.
How Marquise Brown Could Fit With the Lions
The Lions knocked off the defending champions in Week 1. But there were a lot of highs and lows from the team’s receivers in the matchup.
Amon-Ra St. Brown starred, leading the team with 6 receptions and a touchdown. Josh Reynolds made a huge catch on third-and-12 during the game-winning touchdown drive in the fourth quarter and led the Lions with 80 receiving yards.
Rookie tight end Sam LaPorta contributed as well with 5 receptions for 39 yards.
But the rest of the Lions receivers were less than stellar. Kalif Raymond, who received a contract extension in August, only had 1 target. Veteran Marvin Jones Jr. caught only 2 of his 6 targets and fumbled in the red zone.
The Lions undoubtably expect more from Raymond and Jones in the coming weeks. One below average performance doesn’t change the belief the team has in them.
Still, adding Brown to the mix would give the Lions an element the offense is missing without suspended wideout Jameson Williams.
Williams was expected to be the speedy receiver to stretch defenses for the Lions. But he will miss the first six weeks because of a gambling-related suspension.
Williams was also dealing with a hamstring injury at the end of training camp. It’s unclear if he will be ready to go right after his suspension ends.
Potential Trade Compensation for Brown
Brown’s best season came with the Ravens in 2021 when he posted 91 receptions for 1,008 yards and 6 touchdowns. In three seasons with the Ravens, he scored 21 touchdowns in 46 games.
Baltimore, though, traded Brown to the Cardinals in April 2022 for a first-round pick.
Knox didn’t speculate as to what Arizona could potentially seek in return for Brown, but it’s not likely to be a first-rounder. Brown will be a free agent in 2024, so he’s strictly a rental player for a contender this fall.
Brown also isn’t coming off a 1,000-yard campaign as he was the last time he was traded. He had 67 catches for 709 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2022.
Although he’s an intriguing addition for Detroit, Brown isn’t a slam dunk pick up. Despite his speed, he has averaged just 11.7 yards per catch in his career. In 2022, he had a 10.6 yards per reception average.
And while Brown could be a placeholder for the Lions until Williams returns, it’s not clear what role Brown would have once Williams is back in the lineup.
The Lions shouldn’t rule out adding to their receiving core, and a speedy receiver makes the most sense for the group right now. But it can’t be a wideout who will take snaps away from Williams during the second half of the season.