Detroit Lions, NFC North Position Rankings: Wide Receivers
By Jack Ozark
2. Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions roster consists of two solid veterans in the starting positions, and past that a lot of unknown.
Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr. both put together solid seasons last year. However, Jones Jr. began the season hot, with Tate doing next to nothing, and about halfway through it was vice-versa.
I believe that in year two of this tandem they will have figured out how to keep themselves in the game, without hindering the performance of their counterpart. They alone could probably keep this team afloat from a receiver standpoint, but their new help has a chance to make this core elite.
The Lions addressed this need for a third wide receiver in the draft when they selected Kenny Golladay in the third round. Some believed this was a reach for Golladay, but the Lions seemed set on him. This “reach” already seems to be paying off, as he’s been impressive during OTAs. If he can come out of the gates hot as a large and quick receiver, he can give the Lions a solid three-headed monster at the position.
Last season the Lions only had four receivers active for most of the season. If they continue this trend, they may just leave a lot of talent off-the-field. Because of this, I think they will hold five players at the position instead, leaving themselves a wider variety.
The two players that I see remaining are Jared Abberderis and Jace Billingsly. Abberderis came over right after the season from the Packers, and many believed him to be an afterthought until he came into OTAs showing off his skills.
Billingsly became a cult hero for many Lions fans last season. The Lions valued him enough to activate him from the practice squad by the end of the season to keep him safe.
If one of these three players past Tate and Jones Jr. can impact the offense, the Lions are going to be in a great spot from this position for years to come.