One of the under the radar contributors to a resurgent Detroit Lions season, Kalif Raymond has earned a postseason honor from the PFWA.
Quick, without looking, can you tell me who was second on the Detroit Lions in receiving yards this season (and third in catches, for that matter)? If you said Kalif Raymond, you’re right with 616 yards on his 47 receptions.
Raymond was also second in the NFL in punt return average this season (minimum five attempts), averaging 13.2 yards per return with one touchdown. That touchdown came in a game the Lions struggled to do much offensively in but they still won, Week 15 against the New York Jets, and it was extra sweet for Raymond since the Jets cut him back in 2017.
Raymond earned AP Second Team All-Pro honors earlier this month. On Monday he was named named to the All-NFC team by the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) as the punt returner. He is the only Lion to get enough votes to make the All-NFC team, or the All-NFL team, but only two wide receivers are selected for each squad. Otherwise, Amon-Ra St. Brown might have had a chance at All-NFC.
Jamaal Williams presumably fell well short of having the votes to usurp All-NFC running backs Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey.
Kalif Raymond has been an unsung hero for the Lions the last two seasons
Raymond was unexpectedly thrust into a large offensive role in 2021, his first season as a Lion, and he proved capable with 48 receptions for 576 yards and four touchdowns. If he’d had enough returns to qualify for the official leaderboard, his average of 11.2 yards per punt return would have been among the best numbers in the league.
Heading into this season, Raymond was pushed down the wide receiver pecking order. But again his offensive role wound up being being bigger than initially expected, and he finished just one catch shy of 2021 with 40 more yards.
Lions coaches hold Raymond in high regard for his under the radar contributions. It’s nice he’s getting some recognition on a league-wide scale, with now two postseason honors given to him.