Aug 2, 2013; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles (84) during training camp at Detroit Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Why He Could Win It
Ryan Broyles has proven himself to be a valuable NFL commodity when healthy over the last few seasons. The problem is, staying healthy has been an issue.
Broyles, the teams second-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, actually led the team in receptions during the preseason in 2014 (11 catches for 144 yards).
Then, as many of you all know, he would become essentially the teams fifth wideout when the squad would dress four.
During this years offseason, head coach Jim Caldwell has noticed how well Broyles played during his tedious film study process.
"“I think he did show obviously some promises, particularly during the preseason,” Caldwell said. “He and Kellen (Moore) hooked up for quite a few. … He made quite a few plays over that time. Hopefully he’ll continue to improve, and find a way to work his way out on the field and do something for us.”"
Caldwell says he saw growth from Broyles during practices, and is hopeful he’ll play himself into the picture at receiver now that he’s finally gone a year without suffering a major injury.
Why He Won’t Win It
One thing is certain, the injury and durability issues weigh heavy on Caldwell’s mind.
Broyles has caught 32 passes for 420 yards and two touchdowns in three seasons with the Lions. He’s played in 21 games, while missing 27 (16 of which were due to injury).
Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Broyles, who suffered torn ACLs in 2011-12 and ruptured his Achilles tendon in 2013, turns 27 in April, about the time the Lions report for off-season workouts.
On top of the injury concerns there is also the issue of how he matches up to his competition on the roster — his fellow wideouts. Corey Fuller, who was the teams third guy last year, has more strait line speed. And Jeremy Ross, who was the teams fourth receiver in 2014, has better blocking abilities as well as being the teams incumbent kick returner.
Those factors alone could be enough to hold Ryan Broyles back once again this year.
I mean, the guy basically did everything he could last year and still wasn’t given a chance, right?
I believe that Broyles will have a larger impact in 2015 than he had last year and will make the teams final 53-man roster.
Now that he’s healthy and freed from the perpetual rehab process, I think he can turn his focus to improving his game. Being a year removed from that Achilles injury, he should have a little bit more pep in his step, and if Caldwell does give him a viable shot, you best believe he’s going to make the most of it.
Next: Corey Fuller