It’s been an active first few weeks of free agency for the Detroit Lions, and even as things are expected to slow to a crawl a bit due to the impending 2021 NFL Draft, the chance still exists for the team to grab an important player for their hopes next season.
The Lions have made additions at wide receiver a priority this offseason so far, and even though the team has added some intriguing free agent talents, the chance still exists for them to fortify one of their biggest needs on the roster.
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Recently, Bleacher Report looked at re-setting the offseason for every NFL team and explaining what move they should make next. Writer Alex Kay picked out one fit for every team that can still help for 2021, and when it came to Detroit, it was said another wideout should be on the menu in the form of Dede Westbrook.
“Dede Westbrook would be a sensible signing for this rebuilding organization, as the former Jaguars wideout didn’t exactly pan out at his first stop in the league. Things looked promising after he averaged 101 targets, 66 receptions, 688 yards and four touchdowns between 2018-19, but he suffered a torn ACL just two games into the 2020 campaign and finished the year with just a single catch for four yards.
Westbrook is only 27 years old but shouldn’t garner more than budget, “prove-it” offers for his next contract because of the injury. He still possesses some significant upside and never really had a chance to reach his ceiling because of the unstable quarterback situation in Jacksonville.
The Lions, who are transitioning from Matthew Stafford to Jared Goff under center, would be a great landing spot for Westbrook. Detroit would afford him the chance to take on a full-time slot role and grow with the team during its rebuilding efforts.”
Detroit hasn’t shown many signs of wanting to add another wideout at this point in time, but if they did, Westbrook would certainly be one of the better options on the market thanks to his speed and his ability to fill in at a spot of major need for the Lions.
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Westbrook’s Stats and Highlights
Westbrook has flown more than a bit under-the-radar in terms of his production and place in the NFL, but he’s still a very talented player. For the last four seasons, Westbrook has played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and put up some decent numbers early in his career. Westbrook has 1,716 yards and 9 touchdowns to his credit, and has been a speedy option for the team. The 2016 Biletnikoff Award winner in college at Oklahoma and a Heisman Trophy finalist, Westbrook was a former fourth-round pick and is a guy who could also give the Lions some speed and return ability if the team likes.
Already in his NFL career, Westbrook has shown the ability to be shifty and dynamic.
The Lions could certainly use a playmaker with speed like that for their offense.
Lions Undergoing Major Change at Wide Receiver
So far this offseason, the Lions have undergone a major change at the wideout position. Gone are Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola. Entering the picture are Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, Damion Ratley and Kalif Raymond. While most see wideout as a huge need for the Lions and a spot the team will obviously address in the draft, that doesn’t mean the team shouldn’t take a look at some other players in free agency. Even if the Lions make an upgrade to the slot in the draft, they could still benefit from adding a player in free agency to hold things down as a veteran.
As of now, the market does offer some interesting potential fixes, so the Lions would be smart to consider a few moves like Westbrook in the weeks ahead in order to give themselves the best possible chance at patching a glaring hole in an effective way.