Lions Urged to Target Speedy WR in Proposed Trade

Dan Campbell Tutu Atwell

Getty Bleacher Report's Maurice Moton argued that head coach Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions should consider trading for Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Tutu Atwell.

The Detroit Lions are in a great position to have a top 5 offense in terms of scoring and yardage again in 2024. But that doesn’t mean the Lions couldn’t use another addition at wide receiver such as Los Angeles Rams wideout Tutu Atwell.

Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton argued the Lions should consider targeting Atwell in a trade for a late-round draft pick. Moton described Detroit as having a “moderate need” at wide receiver.

“At 5’9″, 165 pounds, the 24-year-old isn’t going to win many jump ball opportunities or routinely come down with contested catches,” Moton wrote of Atwell. “On the flip side, he can make big plays with his speed, which may open up the field for other Lions pass-catchers.”

Moton didn’t propose a specific draft pick the Lions should offer for Atwell. But Detroit has four Day 3 selections, giving them some options. Two of those picks are in the sixth round.

With those selections, the Lions landing Atwell in a late-Day 3 pick exchange could be a possibility.

Atwell posted 39 catches for 483 yards and 3 touchdowns in 16 games with the Rams last season. He has averaged 13.7 yards per reception in his career.

Moton proposed Atwell as a trade chip for the Rams because the team re-signed wideout Demarcus Robinson this offseason.

Why Rams WR Tutu Atwell Could Be a Trade Target for Lions

If Atwell is indeed available, he may be a target for Detroit because the Lions could use additional receiver depth. On March 27, veteran Josh Reynolds elected to leave the Lions to sign a 2-year deal with the Denver Broncos.

Reynolds was second among Lions wideouts in the major receiving categories last season.

The Lions have higher expectations for third-year wideout Jameson Williams entering 2024. They also re-signed veteran Donovan Peoples-Jones to a 1-year contract worth as much as $2 million on March 16.

But with Atwell on the roster as well, there will be less pressure on Williams or Peoples-Jones to immediately step into the No. 2 wideout role opposite Amon-Ra St. Brown.

Atwell started 14 of 16 games for the Rams last season after only starting four contests in his first two NFL seasons combined. He finished third among the Rams’ receivers in receiving yards and receptions.

The No. 2 receiver spot isn’t a huge need for the Lions because Pro Bowl rookies Sam LaPorta (tight end) and Jahmyr Gibbs (running back) each had more than 50 receptions. LaPorta made second-team All-Pro with 889 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.

But with Super Bowl expectations entering 2024, it would be wise for the Lions to add more receiving depth this offseason.

Could Lions Draft WR in the First Round?

If the Lions have full faith in Williams taking a step forward in 2024, then Detroit adding veteran receiving depth makes the most sense. But it’s not out of the question that the Lions target a receiver early in the 2024 NFL draft.

On March 22, AtoZ Sports’ Mike Payton proposed the Lions trading up in the first round for LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr.

“With Josh Reynolds possibly moving on, the Lions now have a big spot to replace,” Payton wrote. “Thomas can come in and do what Reynolds could do plus a lot more.

The Lions came into the offseason with bigger needs on defense. However, the team addressed their needs at edge rusher and cornerback with several free agent signings and a trade for veteran Carlton Davis.

Those moves make the Lions drafting a receiver in the first round a much more likely possibility.

During the 2023 season, Thomas led the FBS with 17 receiving touchdowns. A receiver with his talent could make an already dangerous Lions offense extremely lethal.

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