The Draft is quickly approaching and with all the questions at WR heading into next year, it is definitely a focal position to address this offseason. Marvin Jones Jr. & Danny Amendola most likely won’t be resigned and the Kenny Golladay situation is completely up in the air. I preferably would like to move on from KG by tagging & trading him for value, but if we were able to get a team-friendly long-term deal I wouldn’t be mad over it. I just would rather spend the money on Romeo Okwara. I’ve been one of the biggest Golladay fans even since we drafted him when no one knew about him and everyone questioned the pick. Just in reality for a rebuilding team it doesn’t make sense to sign a WR who is looking for a big deal when you have so many other holes to fill. The Lions won’t be in the conversation for even contending for the playoffs for at least another 2-3 years at best, so devoting so much money to him right now would be asinine. So that pretty much leaves us with just Quintez Cephus and possibly Jamal Agnew as our receivers going into next year. So who should we target in the Draft? Let’s dive in. Everyone and their mother already knows about DeVonta Smith, Ja’Marr Chase, & Kyle Pitts (who I consider a WR & not a TE), so let’s take a look at the prospects that your Aunt Michelle probably hasn’t heard of. Also those three guys will likely be drafted in the top-10 and despite how talented they all are, the Lions spending their top pick on them would be irresponsible. These next four guys are receivers that I believe will be available anywhere from the late 1st round until the 3rd round, which is right in Detroit’s wheelhouse. There’s such a plethora of WR talent these days that you can easily find a gem on Day 2 and not always need to spend a top pick on Day 1.
RONDALE MOORE, PURDUE
It’s going to be a theme for this blog, but it’s not a secret that Jared Goff is more of a short-throw/get the ball out ASAP sort of QB, so the Lions will need a small playmaking receiver to help him out, especially with the only current WR on contract for next year is Cephus, and Moore is the best prospect for that. Rondale is the definition of a playmaker as he won the Paul Hornung award as a freshman which is given to the best player who plays multiple positions. He absolutely tore is up as both a WR & a returner in 2018. Moore is probably the best option available out of the smaller/quicker receivers and would give Goff a weapon similar to what he was used to with Cooper Kupp, but even more talented. Also the Lions offense has been desperate to find someone to fill that role ever since trading away Golden Tate.
ELIJAH MOORE, OLE MISS
These days in the NFL, unless you’re a physical freak of nature a la Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, or D.K. Metcalf, you need to excel at route running to make it as a WR in this league and Elijah has that. Moore is always a threat to take it to the house and can take tough hits despite only being 5’9”-190. And oh yeah, he also happened to have the highest separation % out of anyone in this draft class with 90%…
TUTU ATWELL, LOUISVILLE
Another small guy who could become Goff’s favorite target. Tutu has been clocked in the 4.3’s and similar to Rondale & Elijah is always a home-run threat whenever he touches the ball. As a Miami Hurricanes fan, I’ve watched him a decent amount as a rival in the ACC, annoyed that we didn’t sign him as a Cane in the first place especially since he’s from there, and when you play the Cardinals he’s the #1 guy that you always game-plan for. Just imagine all of the short routes that Kupp & Robert Woods ran for Goff on the Rams, but with a much more talented guy like Atwell
TYLAN WALLCE, OKLAHOMA STATE
If you haven’t heard of this guy you need to watch his tape. He’s taller than the guys mentioned above and is just as dynamic. Anytime the ‘Pokes were playing he was must watch TV. He sorta reminds me of Tyreek Hill, and not just because they both went to Ok. State. He was recently clocked at 4.39 in the 40 at the EXOS combine, but not only is he fast as hell he’s great at contested catches & blocking:
If Detroit was able to snag any of these four guys, I’d be very elated. We need to get WR’s that target Goff’s strengths.