But what if the best player available, when the Lions are on the clock with the 7th overall pick, doesn’t happen to be a wide receiver? Detroit has pieced itself together a roster made up of mostly one-year deals and the wide receiver position is no exception to this—every wideout Detroit’s signed this offseason (Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, Kalif Raymond, and Damion Ratley) has been to one-year contracts.
In a draft class so saturated with wide receiver talent, should Detroit not get a receiver with that No. 7 pick, the opportunity for the Lions to both get better now and put pieces in place for the future at wide receiver won’t be lost.
This leads us to today’s Question of the Day…
Who are the best Day 2, Day 3 WR prospects for the Detroit Lions?
After putting out my first mock draft of the offseason last Thursday, I’ve started to dig a little deeper into this class of wide receivers and there’s a lot to like. While the draft definitely seems to be a little heavy on wideouts that project to be slot guys in the NFL, there certainly could be a wide variety of players available at various junctures for the Lions.
On Day 2, I find myself really high on players like Mississippi’s Elijah Moore—who could totally sneak into the first round—Purdue’s Rondale Moore, and North Carolina’s Dyami Brown.
For Brown, I’m most intrigued about his big-play potential, a skill he showed off consistently in college and I pointed out in 1.0 of my mock draft:
In his three years at Chapel Hill, Brown developed into arguably the nation’s best deep threat, averaging 20.3 and 20.0 yards per catch as a sophomore and junior respectively—and his 18.7 YPC is second-best in North Carolina’s history. His job with the Tar Heels was to get deep, and over his three seasons, Brown averaged an absurd average depth of target of 17.1 yards downfield.
On Day 3, if he happens to be there as early as the fourth round, Tennesse’s Josh Palmer is someone I think has a chance to be one of this year’s proverbial diamonds in the rough.
Here’s what I had to say about Palmer earlier this week:
Victimized by Tennessee’s quarterback play, Josh Palmer didn’t get a chance to be as productive as his excellent combination of size and speed suggested he could be with the Volunteers. According to PFF, a whopping 37.2% of the passes thrown Palmer’s way were uncatchable, so again, this pick is one with a considerable amount of projection, but I think there are some strong signals pointing towards Palmer being worth it here in the fourth round.
And another thing working in Palmer’s favor is the way he showed up against elite competition despite pitiful quarterback play:
Matched up against who many believe to be the best cornerback in the country in Patrick Surtain II, Palmer was able to beat him vertically and bring down a touchdown reception in their game against Alabama. At the Reese’s Senior Bowl, Palmer had 16 snaps against defensive backs in one-on-one drills with a win rate of 81 percent, catching 11 passes and two for touchdowns per PFF.