Detroit Lions: Winners and Losers in the Wide Receiver Battle


About a week ago, I wrote a piece on the wide receiver battle to make the 53 man roster for the Detroit Lions. 

Dec 7, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver

Calvin Johnson

(81) is announced before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the final roster cuts have happened, and the unofficial depth chart has been released, let’s take a look at how the predictions panned out, and what impact it has on this team.

Now obviously, Golden Tate and Calvin Johnson both made the roster. On the depth chart, they are both shown as starters on either side of the ball. To name a number 1 and number 2 receiver between the two is really unfair. Sure, some of you may say Calvin Johnson is the number 1, but by all means, they are really both number 1 caliber receivers, and will likely both be on the field at the same time quite often.

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In the depth chart, Corey Fuller is listed as the number 2 behind Calvin Johnson. This speaks many words about how Jim Caldwell and Joe Lombardi think of him as a receiver. He runs clear crisp routes and seems to have better hands than he did last year when it comes to receiving the ball. In receiver sets that don’t involve Calvin, or if he sustains an injury this year, Fuller should be able to step up and get the job done. I’m not saying he is Megatron because nobody is, but he is a solid receiver capable of gaining yards after the catch.

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Next on the chart, behind Golden Tate, Lance Moore is listed as the number 2 at that position. And, rightfully so. Moore is already familiar with Lombardi’s offensive scheme and showed up well in the preseason and in camp. Familiarity is a big factor, I believe, in why he was chosen to make the squad. Look for the tenth year receiver to have some decent numbers this season, helping to spread out the field and make some big plays in coverage.

Finally, we have TJ Jones listed in the 3rd position behind Golden Tate. As he showed in the 4th preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, Jones has some serious speed. He looks to be one of the faster receivers we have in all actuality. And, with Jeremy Ross not making the roster, this also sets Jones as our number 1 kick and punt returner. I feel this was a good decision. He seems to make some smart moves and if he can get an open hole, with his speed, he will be returning kicks and punts for some serious yardage. Look for him to have a few returns for touchdowns this year along with setting up the offense with a short field to work with.

That leaves us with who was released. As I mentioned above, Jeremy Ross indeed did not make the cut. Ryan Broyles asked for his release and it was granted. Greg Salas was placed on injured reserve. Vernon Johnson was released as well. And last but not least, Andrew Peacock was released, but then signed to the practice squad. That was until wide receiver Kendrick Ings was signed to the practice squad today (9/9/15) and they released Andrew Peacock.

Ings spent some time with Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson a couple of years ago, honing his skills. I think this was a good pickup for the practice squad. While I hate to see Peacock go, Ings has a lot of upside to him and can be worked with to hopefully become a threat on this Detroit Lions offense one day.

This wide receiver corps looks to be one of the most talented the Detroit Lions have had in quite some time. Add with them, the talent at the tight end position and a couple of dangerous pass threats in the backfield with Theo Riddick and Zack Zenner, and we look to be in for a show this season.

I am ready for some Detroit Lions high powered offense football, how about you?

Mark DeGain is a columnist for of the FanSided Network. For further Detroit Lions news, rumors and analysis, be sure to follow him on twitter at @SLR_Mark!

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