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NFL Draft

So There Really Is No Breakout WR On The Lions, Huh?

  • The Draft Network
  • September 21, 2021
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The Detroit Lions entered the new campaign with massive question marks surrounding who would step up to the plate at the wide receiver position. The Lions returned only one receiver (Quintez Cephus) who recorded a reception for them in 2020, as they went through a major makeover at the position.

Through two games, the answer to that query is starting to become alarmingly clear: Nobody.

The Lions lost Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones in free agency and replaced them with the oft-injured Tyrell Williams, NFL journeymen Kalif Raymond, and fourth-round pick Amon-Ra St. Brown.

Fantasy football players all over the globe began thumbing through this depleted depth chart in hopes of finding a diamond-in-the-rough selection that could help them win bragging rights over their respected competition. It doesn't exist. 

As many of us forecasted, the Lions' leading receiver is currently tight end T.J. Hockenson, who has started the season in fine form by totaling 163 receiving yards on 16 receptions. Behind Hockenson is D'Andre Swift, a running back who has served as a formidable check-down option for quarterback Jared Goff, catching 12 balls for 106 yards. The team's leading "receiver" is Cephus, who currently has 75 yards to his name, which currently equates to 37.5 yards per contest.

It's an unnerving development that all but confirms the concerns we shared regarding this ultra-thin pass-catching corps back in the offseason.

Where do the Lions go from here? There isn't a knight-in-shining-armor coming to rescue the 2021 passing offense, but head coach Dan Campbell and wide receivers coach Antwaan Randle El must focus on the continued development of young, promising players such as Cephus and St. Brown, who have shown positive flashes in isolated moments. Meanwhile, Lions general manager Brad Holmes must turn his attention to upgrading this unit in the coming years as he continues to focus on developing this team into a perennial contender.

The Lions sit at 0-2 and will likely have to continue passing the ball more times than they'd like to due to negative game script. Through two contests, Goff has attempted an astounding 93 passes, or 46.5 attempts per game. While the opportunity to shine will be bountiful, we expect the likes of Hockenson, Swift, and receiving back Jamaal Williams to be on the end of the majority of Goff's passes.

The Draft Network will continue to unveil 2022 mock drafts in the coming weeks and months. Expect to see us peg a receiver for Detroit on a relatively consistent basis, particularly on day two.

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