Lions Finally Make WR Additions After NFL Draft Surprise: Reports

Amon-Ra St. Brown Jameson Williams Isaiah Williams Jalen Calhoun

Getty The Detroit Lions signed two undrafted wide receiver free agents to add to Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jameson Williams.

Some NFL mock drafts predicted the Detroit Lions to select a wide receiver in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft. Instead, the Lions didn’t add any wide receivers with their six choices in the draft this spring. But following that surprise, Detroit made receiver additions by signing two undrafted wideouts — Jalon Calhoun and Isaiah Williams.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported the Lions signed Williams, who is from Illinois, to a $225,000 base salary guaranteed. That included a $15,000 signing bonus.

Heavy Sports’ Matt Lombardo reported the Lions signed Calhoun from Duke.

With the additions of Calhoun and Williams, the Lions have 11 wideouts on their current roster.

Lions Sign WR Isaiah Williams to Large Undrafted Free Agent Contract

Williams may have gone unchosen, but he will be paid as if he was selected in the 2024 NFL draft.

USA Today’s Lions Wire’s Russell Brown explained the $240,000 guaranteed contract Williams received from the Lions is double the typical deal an undrafted free agent usually receives.

“That was basically the same money as being a seventh-round pick in the NFL Draft,” Brown wrote. “So for Williams to get the amount he got is a bit telling.”

Brown described Williams as a possible “steal.”

Williams was a significant part of Illinois’ offense the past three seasons. He had at least 45 catches each campaign from 2021-23.

In 2022, he had 82 grabs for 715 yards and 5 touchdowns. Williams again recorded 82 receptions during 2023, but his yards per catch average increased by more than 4 yards, bringing his total yardage to 1,055.

Williams also scored 14 touchdowns in his final 37 college games.

“He can be asked to work across all areas of the field and has both gadget and punt return ability,”’s Lance Zierlein wrote. “Williams is competitive and versatile but must prove he can play fast to become a WR4 as a Day 3 pick.”

Lions Also Sign WR Jalon Calhoun

Calhoun didn’t have a 1,000-yard campaign at Duke, but he had a more successful college career than Williams from a statistical perspective.

Calhoun produced five seasons with more than 300 receiving yards in the ACC. In his final three college campaigns, he had more than 650 receiving yards.

His peak production came during 2023 when he had 62 catches for 873 yards and 4 touchdowns.

“Calhoun had a strong career at Duke, becoming the sixth player in school history to record 3,000 career receiving yards and the first ever to register at least 700 yards in back-to-back seasons,” wrote Heavy’s Nathan Dougherty. “Calhoun finished his collegiate career with 253 receptions for 3,026 yards and 17 touchdowns.”

The top of Detroit’s receiver depth chart is likely set with Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jameson Williams, Kalif Raymond and Donovan Peoples-Jones. The Lions signed St. Brown to a contract extension worth more than $120 million on April 24.

But the Lions were suggested as a team that could target a receiver early in the NFL draft because they could use additional wideout depth. Detroit also must replace departed free agent receiver Josh Reynolds, who signed with the Denver Broncos.

Williams and Calhoun are unlikely to be part of Detroit’s plan to replace Reynolds’ production. But they could be depth solutions.

The Lions also have Tom Kennedy, Daurice Fountain, Maurice Alexander and Tre’Quan Smith at receiver on their current roster.

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