The Detroit Lions shouldn’t rule much of anyone out in the upcoming draft, but they reportedly particularly like three wide receivers in this class.
The Detroit Lions still could stand to add a wide receiver in this month’s draft, with only Amon-Ra St. Brown currently locked into a spot beyond next season. Starting with their second first-round pick (No. 32, barring a trade up), another deep class at the position will provide some options.
There’s no such thing as a wide receiver (or anyone at another position) the Lions absolutely shouldn’t draft, it’s just a matter of the right spot and appropriate value.
According to NFL reporter Jordan Schultz, as they look to continue adding weapons around Jared Goff, the Lions like three wide receivers–North Dakota State’s Christian Watson, Purdue’s David Bell and Tennessee’s Velus Jones Jr.
Will the Detroit Lions draft one of these three wide receivers?
Watson is big (6-foot-5, 208 pounds) and fast (4.36 40 at the combine), and he’s pushed himself into the late-first round conversation for some analysts. The concern with him is the uptick from the FCS level at North Dakota State to the NFL. The team who drafts him will be betting on tools and good intangible marks.
Bell has not tested well athletically during the pre-draft process, which has dropped his stock into the third round after he had been in the late-first or early-second range early in the process. There’s no debating his production though. He topped 1,000 yards in two of three seasons at Purdue (93 catches for 1,286 yards in 2021), with eight touchdowns over six games in the truncated 2020 campaign.
Jones didn’t have huge numbers in college, during a six-season career split between USC and Tennessee. But the Lions’ coaching staff had him on the American team roster at the Senior Bowl, and at 200 pounds he ran a 4.31 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. He’s an intriguing prospect in the third or fourth-round area.
Bell plays faster and looks better on the field than he tested in things that aren’t especially meaningful to football, and he produced in the Big Ten. Watson and Jones are more raw and have different question marks, but no prospect is perfect.
The Lions could be letting out a little smoke screen about how much they like Watson, Bell and Jones in particular, for some reason. If I were to choose one for them to draft, it would be Bell–even with the athleticism red flags.