Oct 3, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (12) catches a pass while being defended by Buffalo Bills free safety Aaron Williams (23) for a touchdown during the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
This offseason I predicted Joseph Fauria to be a big factor for the Lions in 2013. In 2012, during the middle of Maurice Jones-Drew trade rumors, I listed Reggie Bush as my top running back fit for what the Detroit Lions like to do on offense. To this point, it looks like my selections for the Lions’ offense were right on par. With the Lions’ wide receivers banged up, under performing, and speculation swirling around Hakeem Nicks, Josh Gordon and Kenny Britt to the Lions, I think it’s time to analyze each player’s chances of becoming a Detroit Lion.
Here is the list of the three wide receivers in order of likeliness to the Detroit Lions by the trade deadline:
3. Hakeem Nicks- Nicks stands at 6’1, possesses monster hands and would be a great target over the middle for the Lions, however he is a bit slow (4.63 forty) and he is a free agent after the season. I don’t like him as a complement to Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush, because he doesn’t stretch the field as well as Gordon and Britt and he will likely be demanding a big contract once the season is over. I couldn’t imagine the Giants asking less than a third round pick for Nicks, which is way too high considering he doesn’t match exactly what the Lions are looking for.
Bottom line: Very unlikely
2. Josh Gordon- I love Josh Gordon and I can see him eventually being a top five wide receiver in the NFL. His 6’3, 225 lbs frame would be the perfect compliment for Johnson and Bush as he has already proven to be a dynamic receiver in his short career. Of all the wide receivers in this group, Gordon is the best fit schematically and he has the highest upside. The trouble with Gordon is what has taken place off the field. He is one step away from a season-long suspension for the NFL’s drug policy and the Browns are looking for no less than a second round pick for his services.
I would trade a second round pick for Gordon in a heartbeat even his drug issues he’s had dating back to his days at Baylor, because I think he has moved passed that, but given the Lions situation, the asking price, and the fact that he is just a mess up away from a season-long suspension, I have to think the Lions are going to pass on Gordon at this point, unless the Browns decide to lower the asking price closer to the NFL trade deadline which is two weeks away.
Bottom line: Unlikely
1. Kenny Britt- Britt has Gordon’s size and speed, however he plays with a bit more physicality, reminding me of a Dez Bryant type of player. Britt has a lot of upside if he can clean his act up, he’s still young, and he would be a great fit in Detroit schematically. However, his long list of off the field issues is by far the longest of anyone on this list and he seems to have a Titus Young like relationship with his current team the Titans. The Lions would be taking a big risk if they gave up a third round pick the Titans are asking. If the price drops to say a fifth round pick, which I think is definitely a possibility considering his fall from grace with the organization, I would pull the trigger immediately if I were the Lions’ front office. Perhaps a change of scenery is all Britt needs to make him the lethal threat many thought he could be coming into the 2009 draft.
Bottom line: Unlikely, but the best chance of the three receivers.
The Lions trading for a top notch wide receiver is unlikely right now, for the reasons above. Another factor that I haven’t discussed is the Lions willingness to trade for a receiver. They sit at 4-2 tied for first in the NFC North and may think they are in good enough shape to finish out the season with what they have. Also, two of the three wide receivers will likely be off of their current team’s roster by the end of the season and possibly available in free agency along with a bigger selection of wide receivers to choose from. This may not help the Lions for the 2013 season, but it would save them having to send off valuable draft picks while grabbing the guy they want.
Still, if the price tag for Gordon or Britt drops between now and the trade deadline, it would be hard to see the Lions passing up on one of the two.