Detroit Lions early-season wide receiver pecking order is clear now

Thursday night's season opener made it clear how the Lions' wide receiver pecking order should look early in the season.
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It's hard to call it a void that needs to be filled, given his limited resume. But Jameson Williams' six-game suspension certainly changed the equation at wide receiver for the Detroit Lions early this season, given the role that was envisioned for him in his second season. Beyond Amon-Ra St. Brown, there are natural questions about the wide receiver depth.

St. Brown had a typical outing against the Chiefs in Thursday night's season opener, with six receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown. Josh Reynolds played the second-most snaps among Lions' wide receivers (49), and he delivered four catches (including some clutch plays) for a team-high 80 yards.

Marvin Jones played 39 snaps against the Chiefs. He had six targets, but just two catches and a bad fumble in the red zone after one of them. Kalif Raymond played just 19 offensive snaps, catching his lone target for 20 yards. A better balance between those two would be nice, but the usage of Jahmyr Gibbs seemed to impact Raymond's role.

As Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire noted, Raymond did not play an offensive snap until Jones has played a lot of his snaps (28 of the 39).

Detroit Lions wide receiver pecking order without Jameson Williams is clear now

Reynolds' history with Jared Goff is well-known, and the connection has carried into Reynolds' time as a Lion. Jones has to build that rapport with Goff from practically the ground up in games now, with no preseason games to have done so.

It's a little interesting that rookie wide receiver Antoine Green did not play at all against the Chiefs. But that feels like a nod toward the veterans in a tough, tight game against the defending champions, more than a knock on Green. He should see some time going forward. Preseason standout Dylan Drummond is on the practice squad, and he could become an option too.

When Williams comes back in Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens, the pecking order will change. But after St. Brown right now, Reynolds and Raymond should be the proverbial No. 2 and No. 3 wide receivers for the Lions with Jones having a lighter role than he did against the Chiefs. Unless a notable addition is on the radar.

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