Lions fully flesh out a dynamic receiving corps in early 2025 mock draft

Yes it's incredibly early for a 2025 mock draft, but the Lions go an interesting direction with their projected late first-round pick here.
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The Detroit Lions had one of the best offenses in the NFL last year, and they should be on that level again this year. In a certain sense, the expected emergence of wide receiver Jameson Williams can take the Detroit offense to another level.

The Lions do move toward training camp with a question mark at wide receiver though. Leaving aside Williams carrying his momentum from OTAs into camp and into the season, who will the No. 3 wide receiver be? Kalif Raymond? Donovan Peoples-Jones? Someone else? Josh Reynolds is leaving behind 64 targets from last year, and even if Williams steps up there is a void left to be filled.

Looking to the future beyond this season, wide receiver depth might be a bit of a thing for the Lions' roster. Using an early pick in the 2025 draft on the position could be in play.

Lions add WR, without giving up on Jameson Williams, in 2025 ESPN mock

ESPN's Matt Miller (subscription required) is out with his first 2025 mock draft, projecting all 32 first-round picks next April. The order is determined by what ESPN's Football Power Index projects for the 2024 season, and the Lions land at pick No. 30.

The Lions will likely be able to go multiple different directions in the first round next April. Miller has them taking Ohio State wide receiver Emeka Egbuka.

"I expect that general manager Brad Holmes will put some focus on receiver depth next offseason. The Lions are waiting to see what Jameson Williams can be in his third season after a series of setbacks due to injury and suspension but the WR3 role is open for business. Egbuka is a savvy route runner with sure hands and toughness over the middle that would fit Detroit's offense. The senior should bounce back from a down year in 2023 (41 catches for 515 yards and four TDs) and post numbers closer to his huge 2022 season (74 catches for 1,151 yards and 10 TDs)."

If the Lions do feel compelled to draft a wide receiver in the first round next year, the easy assumption would be that Williams failed to emerge this season. But that doesn't seem to be any part of Miller's process here.

While the Lions are "waiting to see" what Williams can be this year, Miller basically says them taking Egbuka at No. 30 overall is independent of that and not driven by Williams failing. And based on scouting reports, they are very different receivers. Bleacher Report's comp for Egbuka looking toward this year's draft (before he decided to return to school) was Tyler Boyd.

Egbuka missed three games with an ankle injury last season, leading to a disappointing season (41 catches for 515 yards and four touchdowns). But in 2022, with a big role available to him, be broke out with 74 receptions, 1,151 yards and 10 touchdowns. With Marvin Harrison Jr. gone to the NFL, he is lined up to be the Buckeyes' No. 1 wide receiver this year.

It's hard to separate the Lions possibly drafting a wide receiver in the first round next April from how Williams does this season, with the scale of likelihood tipped by his success (less likely) or failure (more likely). But the conversations can be separated, and drafting a wide receiver early in the 2025 draft doesn't have to correlate with giving up on Williams.