5 free agent wide receivers who actually make sense for the Detroit Lions

If the Lions look to sign a wide receiver, these five free agents actually make sense.
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The Detroit Lions did not draft a wide receiver this year, despite the broad perception there was a void to fill after the departure of Josh Reynolds. The two undrafted rookie receivers (Isaiah Williams and Jalon Calhoun) they have agreed to terms with may be able to come in and win a roster spot, but it's a coin-flip proposition that either will do so.

So it's easy to point toward the need to sign a veteran receiver, and it feels very possible if a fit can be found.

There has been an idea out there over the course of free agency that Odell Beckham Jr. is a fit for the Lions. But that idea leaves aside, or outright forgets, that Beckham Jr. would need a personality transplant to be a good culture fit in Detroit. The Lions value their culture and how players fit into it as much as, if not more than, a player's talent.

Beckham did seem to embrace a less-significant role last year with the Ravens, and he was somewhat effective at times (a career-best 16.1 yards per catch, a top-35 overall grade from Pro Football Focus).

But let's move the conversation to free agent wide receivers who make better sense for the Lions than Beckham.

5 free agent wide receivers who actually make sense for the Detroit Lions

5. Allen Robinson

Approaching 31 years old (Aug. 24), Robinson is a shell of what he once was with the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars. Last season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he had just 34 catches for 280 yards despite playing all 17 games and 72 percent of their offensive snaps. With the chance to clear a notable chunk of cap space, he was a no-brainer offseason cut.

Robinson was noted as a veteran leader in the Steelers' locker room, and that's an obvious role he can serve in for the Lions. It's also fair to assume a lesser on-field role would suit him better, and that kind of role is what's available in Detroit. His overall Pro Football Focus grades in 2021 and 2022 were actually a little better than Josh Reynolds'.

Robinson is also a Detroit native, so absent opportunities to have a bigger role somewhere else (which are not coming) a return home may appeal to him.