Arguably, there is no position with a greater need for the Detroit Lions than the spot of wideout this offseason. The team lacks depth and playmaking, and they need to rebuild in a big way with some youth at the position.
The best news for the Lions is the draft is loaded with elite talents at wideout, and the team isn’t limited to the first round in order to perhaps try and fill that need. But what players and their skillset fit the Lions the best this draft season?
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While the draft is deep, there are some obvious fits for the Lions in terms of players that stand out. Here’s a look at the best players for the team at wide receiver.
DeVonta Smith, Alabama
Many have connected Smith to Detroit within the top 10, and given the talent drain that has played out at wideout with the team, adding a talent like Smith high in the draft has to be enticing for the Lions given his production while in school. With 3,750 yards and 43 touchdowns in college and the Heisman Trophy, he is an elite talent, and could make sense as it relates to Detroit depending on how high they select and what they determine the biggest need to be. He’s also got speed and could be an answer for a team that needs a pass catcher for the slot. Arguably, he’s a better fit than his teammate Jaylen Waddle could be for the Lions.
Kadarius Toney, Florida
It isn’t a stretch to say that Toney may be the most electric player in the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s got impressive speed and has been a playmaking machine during his time at Florida. While in college, Toney put up 1,590 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. Additionally, he has put up 580 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s also been a solid return man, having scored 1 touchdown in the return game. The Lions need more speed and playmaking anywhere they can get it, and Toney is just the type of player who could deliver that for the team. It doesn’t hurt that the Lions also met with him in the pre-draft process.
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Terrace Marshall, LSU
Marshall is a player who has shown his talent not only in high school but in the rough SEC as well. While with the LSU Tigers, Marshall put up some solid statistics with 1,594 yards receiving as well as 23 scores. Those numbers weren’t as good as some of his contemporaries in this class, but still good enough to make him a player who should be a high draft pick this year. If Marshall is there with Detroit’s second pick and the Lions elect to fill a different need early, it would be an interesting move to nab him. He has a lot of the same traits that figure to translate well to the league.
Cornell Powell, Clemson
Depending on how the wideout board shakes out early on, Powell could be a name the Lions look at to fill the need they will have at pass catcher. With speed and size, Powell looked the part of a potential NFL star in the game and the Lions had to be interested considering they could need all the help they could get at wideout in the coming draft. He had a stronger 2020 season than career, but the good news is he could be peaking. Landing him later in the draft while filling other needs earlier could be ideal.
Sage Surratt, Wake Forest
Surratt has shown burst and quickness during the pre-draft process to along with his impressive 6-3 frame. The Lions could be in the market for a top wideout, and this class seems to be deep with a guy like Surratt being there potentially in round two. How does his talent translate to the game? That might not be hard to say given his solid production in just two shortened years. Surratt put up 1,582 yards and 15 scores and is beginning to make a bigger name for himself. He wouldn’t be likely to cost the Lions a top pick, and could be a big-bodied player to give the Lions