Detroit Lions: 3 free agent gambles at wide receiver

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Dede Westbrook, Detroit Lions
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Lions entered the 2021 NFL Draft with their wide receiver corps likely the team’s most pressing need based on their roster. While many projected the Lions would address this need with their first-round pick, Detroit opted not to do so until the fourth-round with the lone selection of USC’s Amon-Ra St. Brown.

The Lions’ current depth chart at wideout now includes Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, Quintez Cephus, Kalif Raymond, Damion Ratley, Sage Surratt, Jonathan Adams, Javon McKinley, Tom Kennedy, Victor Bolden, Geronimo Allison, and the only drafted rookie, St. Brown.

With free-agent signings no longer impacting the compensation pick formula, we could see an uptick in roster additions in the coming weeks. If the Lions opt to add more veteran wide receivers to their depth chart, here are three gambles that might be worth betting on.

Dede Westbrook, WR

Still only 27-years old, Dede Westbrook is just a season removed from posting back-to-back years with 66 receptions each after starting a total of 20 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars over that span. In 2019, he was targeted 101 times for the second-straight season and recorded 660 yards and three touchdowns.

Coming off an ACL injury, adding the speedy Westbrook to the roster in Detroit could give new quarterback Jared Goff a vertical threat with reliable hands who can also help replace Jamal Agnew as a special teams returner.