Detroit Lions Draft Prospects: Jeremy Kerley

Wide Receiver Jeremy Kerley

We conclude our look the players featured in the  five round mock draft for the Detroit Lions from NFL Mocks with the player they pegged as the Lions fifth round selection, TCU wide receiver Jeremy Kerley.

Here is what NFL Mocks had to say about the pick:

Kerley is a good WR who could be an excellent slot WR and return man and maybe even eventually develop into a good #2 though he lacks great strength. I was looking at possible Offensive tackles here maybe a Lee Ziemba, a punishing running back Roy Helu, or a CB/S/Special teams player like Marcus Gilchrist.

The Measurables:
Height: 5’10
Weight: 189
Arms: 30″
Hands: 9″
40 yard dash: 4.62 sec

The NFL.com combine profile lists Kerley’s strengths and weaknesses as follows:

Strengths:

Kerley explodes off the line and reaches top speed instantly. Possesses very reliable hands and quickly secures the ball. Has fluid hips and great lateral agility which makes him very difficult to tackle in the open field. Shows good vision as a return man and has the quickness to exploit seams. Willing run blocker.

Weaknesses:

Lacks the top end speed to stretch the field at the next level. Does not run refined routes and struggles to find soft spots in zone coverage. Gets sloppy with his footwork at times and loses momentum in and out of his breaks. He is undersized and will be pushed around by bigger cornerbacks on the press.

While a case can be made for wide receiver being a position of need for the Lions, I’m not sold that a selection of Jeremy Kerlen helps solve any problems the Lions may have in the passing game. Bryant Johnson and Derrick Williams haven’t worked out and the Lions are definitely interested in an upgrade at the third receiver spot. Conventional wisdom says that they would be looking for a slot guy but I don’t think that fits. I see the team being more likely to look for another outside receiver so that Nate Burleson takes the slot in a three receiver set. Kerlen projects as a developmental slot receiver and that isn’t what the Lions are looking for, they need a taller, faster guy that can play on the outside.

Part of Jeremy Kerley’s appeal lies in his abilities in the return game. That would have been an inciting quality to the Lions a year ago, the emergence of Stefan Logan severely minimizes the team’s need for kick and punt return talent. Wes Bunting of the National Football Post characterizes Kerley as a “luxury pick”, that doesn’t seem to fit with what the Lions will look to do in this draft, even as a later round selection.

Watch Jeremy Kerley’s combine workout here

What do you think, Lions fans?

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Tags: Detroit Lions Jeremy Kerley NFL Draft Wide Receiver

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