The Detroit Lions come into the 2023 offseason with some drastic building to do on defense, and for that reason, they shouldn’t be expected to be huge players on the offensive side.
One of the spots that the team seems least needy is at wide receiver. With Amon-Ra St. Brown in the mix and Jameson Williams developing as well, the team has two potential stars. They also have Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond on the roster.
With that said, the team could lose one of their featured targets from 2022, and have a need for a veteran player to come in and provide some balance.
If that’s the case, there are some names that would make a ton of sense for Detroit. Here’s a look at the wideouts the team should be eying when the market opens up.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kansas City Chiefs WR
Last year, many speculated the Lions could take a look at signing JuJu Smith-Schuster, but the team didn’t look his way and he ended up in Kansas City.
That worked out for Smith-Schuster, who put together a solid 933 yard, three touchdown season for the Chiefs, helping them to claim the Super Bowl. This year, Smith-Schuster could be looking for a new home. With 4,788 yards and 29 touchdowns, he offers sneaky good production.
Body type and ability to make the deep catch will go a long way toward making Smith-Schuster an appealing target in Detroit and elsewhere. Additionally, he is still just 26 years old. This could be a good move for Detroit to get a big-game tested young wideout in the mix.
DJ Chark, Detroit Lions WR
For Detroit, making sense of the wideout room this offseason could involve simply bringing back another free agent that fits well in DJ Chark.
While Chark missed time early with injury, this past season, Chark put up a total of 502 yards and three touchdowns on 30 catches. More importantly, though, he seemed to come on down the stretch over the last few critical weeks of the season with major plays.
The Lions didn’t see a huge production from Chark, but he made enough plays where he could be expected to deliver if he comes back, and could be a trusted target of Jared Goff. To that end, a return could be a stroke of genius from Brad Holmes.
Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers WR
If the Lions decide to go “bigger” at the position should Chark walk, Allen Lazard could be a good choice not only due to his divisional knowledge.
Lazard is one of the best blocking wideouts in the NFL, so to that end, he would fit in well with the Lions, who like to run the ball and show toughness on offense. Additionally, he has enjoyed some serious production, with 2,236 yards and 20 scores in just five seasons.
Lazard could be a sneaky good addition to the Detroit group, and one that comes with major production, toughness and plenty of divisional knowledge to help the Lions take the next steps.
Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts WR
Underrated is the name of the game when it comes to Parris Campbell, who has come into the league and done some fast damage with Indianapolis.
The ex-Ohio State second-round pick has enjoyed a solid few seasons in Indianapolis posting 983 career yards with five scores, but could be let go even at age 25 to pursue new opportunities.
Campbell has shown an ability to have speed and make plenty of big catches in his NFL career. The Lions like value buys, and Campbell could be a player in the vein of other Detroit wideouts that don’t make the biggest headlines, yet play solid football.
For these reasons, he could be a very good idea in Detroit, a place where underrated player have gone to shine lately.
Noah Brown, Dallas Cowboys WR
In terms of an underrated player, there might be nobody who fits the bill more than Noah Brown this offseason at wide receiver.
The former seventh-round pick from Ohio State has made a nice name for himself in Dallas, posting 980 yards and three touchdowns in six seasons thus far.
Brown could be in line for more snaps and a bigger role on a contending team, and he would be unlikely to break the bank as well. To that end, it could be an interesting move for the Lions to nab him and get him into their offense.