Intriguing wide receiver prospect made top-30 visit to the Lions

The Lions may draft a wide receiver on Thursday night, and only one is (now) known to have made a top-30 visit to Allen Park.
Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA

The Detroit Lions can got a lot of directions in this year's draft, up to including taking a wide receiver in the first round at pick No. 29. There's a certain physical profile that feels like an ideal fit. On that front, according to Justin Melo of The Draft Network, South Carolina wide receiver Xavier Legette had one of his more than a baker's dozen top-30 visits with the Lions.

As noted by Mike Payton of AtoZ Sports, Legette is only wide receiver known to have had a top-30 pre-draft visit with the Lions. They also met with him at the combine, and made the trip to his Pro Day. So they pretty clearly have interest in him.

Opportunity finally knocked for Legette last season, and boy did he answer the door with 71 receptions for 1,255 yards and seven touchdowns. Having just one year of production in college could be framed as a concern, but it seems unlikely he'll fall below the top 50 overall picks. He has flat-out said the Carolina Panthers told him they will take him at pick No. 33 if he's there.

The NFL Combine was important for Legette, and he tore it up in athletic testing (4.39 40-yard dash, 40-inch vertical jump, 10-foot-6-inch broad jump).

Detroit Lions NFL Draft: Xavier Legette looks like ideal "X" receiver prospect

The marriage of opportunity and having a fellow NFL prospect (Spencer Rattler) under center certainly helped Legette last season. But Pro Football Focus credited him with just two drops all season, he posted a high grade against man coverage (85.6) and he had a 47.6 percent contested catch rate. So while he could be deemed to be raw, he seems to have some refinement in his game.

Legette measured at 6-foot-1 at the combine, after South Carolina listed him at 6-foot-3. But he is the kind of big-bodied "X" receiver (221 pounds) the Lions could use, and he seems to have the all-around skill set (after the catch, contested catches, run blocking) to make an easy transition to the NFL. The Lions want wide receivers who are willing run blockers, and he is that.

Legette is a fringe Round 1/early-Round 2 prospect, so if the Lions are going to take him it'll have to be at pick 29 (or early in the second round after a trade down?). In any case, he's now a name to watch as Thursday night nears.


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