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.
Ryan Kang/GettyImages
2 of 3

4. Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Valdez-Scantling has topped 40 catches just once in six NFL seasons, as he has never quite put it all together catching passes from two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks (Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes).

But Valdes-Scantling is a certified downfield threat (17 yards per catch in his career) with good size (6-foot-4, 206 pounds). The surface numbers are backed by a career of his best Pro Football Focus grades coming on the furthest downfield passes (20-plus yards). His PFF grades on throws 10-19 yards downfield have routinely been pretty good too.

Valdes-Scantling makes sense as a cheap flier to fill a specific role as a deep threat for the Lions. It would not be surprising if they have some level of interest after the draft.

3. DJ Chark

In 2022, the Lions signed Chark to a one-year deal with visions he would be the "X" receiver their offense sorely needed. It took a little longer than expected, largely due to the recurrence of a previous ankle injury that cost him six games in the middle of the season. But late in that season he delivered, averaging 0.8 yards per catch with three 90-plus yard games from Week 13-17. It's not necessarily a coincidence the Lions won a lot of games when he was back in action late in the 2022 season.

Chark signed with the Carolina Panthers, and did not put up great numbers mostly catching passes from an overmatched rookie quarterback in Bryce Young. He also missed a little time due to injury again, leaving him available after the draft with one known free agent visit.

There's a building sentiment from fans that the Lions should bring Chark back. It makes sense, as someone who they know and knows their system. If there are no sour grapes on his end, it's not as if he has a lot of options. But he is easy to see as a nice fit.

Update: According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Chark signed a one-year deal worth "up to" $5 million with the Los Angeles Chargers.