Former first-round pick WR emerging as viable Detroit Lions' trade target

If the Lions want to add a young wide receiver, a potential trade target is quickly emerging.
Denny Simmons / The Tennessean / USA

The degree of need can certainly be debated, but the loss of Josh Reynolds has removed a reliable target from the Detroit Lions' wide receiver corps. After Amon-Ra St. Brown, there's a lot of projection (Jameson Williams, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Antoine Green?) and perhaps an injury question mark (Kalif Raymond) looking toward next season. A draft pick at the position is possible, perhaps early.

The Tennessee Titans took Treylon Burks with the draft pick they acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles for A.J. Brown, theoretically replacing their start wide receiver and re-starting the contract clock for their WR1. It has not worked out, with a combination of bad quarterback play and injuries limiting Burks to 49 catches over two seasons (22 games).

The Titans have also added DeAndre Hopkins and Calvin Ridley the last two offseasons, bumping Burks down the pecking order. On Wednesday, via ESPN's Turron Davenport, Titans' offensive coordinator Nick Holz had this to say about Burks.

"Treylon’s potential is very high. First-round pick, we see all the talent. But he’s going to get what he earns,” Holz said. “He’s got a skill set that he’s a big guy and can run and make contested catches. If he can find a way to do that for us, that’d be a pretty big addition.”

"He's going to get what he earns" is an obvious sentiment. Too obvious, truly. Entering his third season, Burks ostensibly isn't going anywhere, and a fresh start with a new coaching staff may benefit him in Tennessee.

Detroit Lions rumors: Treylon Burks a viable trade target?

Burks parlayed a nice final season at Arkansas in 2021 (66 catches for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns) into being a top-20 overall pick in 2022. He also topped 16 yards a catch for the Razorbacks in 2020, with seven touchdowns. He's a big (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) downfield target who can win contested catches It's fair to assume his talent has not completely evaporated two years into his NFL career, and he's just 24 years old.

Mike Payton of AtoZ Sports offered up Burks as a potential trade target for the Lions, with a proposed deal.

"Lions get: Treylon Burks and the 182nd pick
Titans get: 2025 fourth round pick. The pick the Lions got from the Eagles in the D'Andre Swift trade."

Burks and what would be the Lions' third sixth-round pick this year for the pick they got from the Eagles for D'Andre Swift isn't an awful deal. It's worth wondering if it would take that high of a pick to get Burks, but maybe you do that fourth-rounder in 2025 to get a pick back along with Burks.

The Lions should broadly be in the "low-risk" category if they want to add a wide receiver before, or other than in, the draft. Burks also has potential that probably will only be realized with a change of scenery, and for whatever it's worth the Lions had him in for a top-30 visit two years ago.


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