Here is a sampling of opinions on the Detroit Lions’ selection of Ryan Broyles:
Ryan Broyles was considered a potential first round pick before the 2011 College Football season, but he suffered a season ending injury. Broyles is arguably the most productive player in college football history, and that’s not an overstatement. A savvy route runner who is tough and has hands made of glue, Broyles should be a terrific compliment to Calvin Johnson.
Not my best player on the board, but good value. Had Broyles not get injured he could have gone higher, but I think he’s not a number one type WR. Just a very reliable number two WR. Still the bust fact of this pick is exceedingly minimal. Good solid pick by the Lions. The Lions will need to turn to the defense at some point in this draft.
Live draft grade: B
Hmm… maybe the Vikings should have drafted Morris Claiborne after all. This is crazy. If Ryan Broyles pans out, how are teams going to stop their offense? Broyles, if healthy, should be a good player for Matthew Stafford, who will need someone to throw to once Calvin Johnson suffers from the Madden Curse. I have to wonder though, why not improve the defense? I feel like there were better prospects available, but I don’t have a problem with this selection.
If healthy, Broyles has the ability to develop into one of the league’s best slot men. He’s got a good feel for coverages, good short area quickness and can pluck the football. However, how he recovers from his ACL tear is the biggest question here.
NFL Ceiling: Top tier NFL slot man
NFL Floor: Sub package receiver
The bad news for Detroit is that you don’t know how quickly he’s going to be available. I gave him a solid second-round grade before he tore his ACL late in the season at Oklahoma. He’s a quick, fast, tough-as-nails slot receiver who can provide value in the return game. But you don’t know when you’ll get him. They’re going to have to be patient.
Broyles played second fiddle as the second best receiver in the Sooner State behind Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon, the No. 5 overall pick. But Broyles is a spectacular talent, too. Over the last three seasons he averaged 101 receptions for 1,300 yards and 13 TD. The Lions still haven’t addressed huge needs on defense, though.
Broyles’ career at Oklahoma ended early when he tore his left ACL against Texas A&M, but by all accounts he has had a remarkable recovery and could be ready by training camp. The Lions are already loaded with playmakers on offense, and Broyles gives them yet another explosive threat capable of taking it the distance from anywhere on the field. This pick is a bit of a surprise because of Detroit’s needs in its secondary, but Broyles could have been a high first-round pick if he had ended his college career healthy.
What he brings: Broyles is quicker than fast working from the slot as a wide receiver. However, his best attribute is his hands and his toughness working the middle of the field. Assuming he recovers his full strength from his injury, Broyles could end up bringing great return at this point.
How he fits: At first, this doesn’t look like a big need for the Lions as they have an interesting group of players. However, Broyles gives them a chance to upgrade at the slot receiver position. In this offense, they run a lot of short- to intermediate-routes that are fairly low-risk. Broyles is a guy who knows how to get open and work zones. If he can be that slot guy, he can really open up things outside for Calvin Johnson. He gives Matthew Stafford a consistent target.
Do the Lions need more offensive firepower? I guess they think so. He probably would have been a first-round pick but he tore his ACL this season and is working his way back.
When healthy, there’s not many more explosive and productive than Broyles.
A special talent.
The Lions get a “B” because I think defense is a bigger need at this point and Broyles’ injury past.