Detroit Lions starting wide receivers
The Detroit Lions starters are as solid as any in the NFL. Kenny Golladay holds the top spot in the pecking order and is ranked in or near the Top-10 in many individual wide receiver rankings.
Although snubbed by the NFL’s “Top 100” list, Golladay is a strong vertical threat who excels in contested situations, as noted by Linsey. His yards-per-catch (ypc) average of 18.3 a reception is ranked as fourth in the NFL among starters according to the Team Rankings statistics website, here.
Golladay led the NFL in touchdowns, was seventh in yards, and fourth in ypc. Not only that, he managed the feat without Stafford for half of the year. If Golladay can be a bit more consistent in production and run a little crisper routes to produce more separation, he could be a consensus All-Pro.
After Golladay are a couple of veteran receivers, Marvin Jones, Jr. and Danny Amendola, who are the number two and slot players, respectively.
The knock on them, if you are a skeptic, is their age and injury history. Jones, 30 years old, hasn’t played a full year since his very good 2017 campaign. If he put up that same 1,101 yards and 9 touchdowns on 61 receptions this past year, you’d have to place Motown in the Top-3 with Amendola and T.J. Hockenson rounding out the starters.
Amendola, 34, nearly matched his best season ever in 2019, racking up 678 yards on 62 receptions and 1 score. Can he defy Father Time and continue his role as a security blanket for Stafford much the same way that Julian Edelman functioned for Tom Brady when he was with the New England Patriots? Marvin Jones had 779 yards in 11 starts, hauling in 62 receptions and still managing 9 touchdowns despite missing time again.
Free agent note: Paul Richardson, the wide receiver who was released this winter by the Washington football team, is a name that we’d like to see brought in on a 1-year deal as insurance for Jones. That’s really all that is missing is one more proven substitute for the Lions to be deep and have young players developing behind them.
Richardson is familiar with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and has some similar gifts to Jones, although he has played sporadically. The six-foot speedster had 703 yards and 6 touchdowns just back in 2017.