Detroit Lions: Sifting through the depth receivers on the roster

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions have plenty of wide receivers, but they lack impactful depth pass-catchers, or do they?

Entering camp, the Detroit Lions expected to have a vigorous receiver battle to fill-out the backend of their depth chart.  Everyone understands the organization will deploy Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola, a trio that is arguably the best group in the NFC North.

After those three stellar pass-catchers, things start to thin out quickly or at least leave us with a few questions.

The Detroit Lions signed Geronimo Allison at the beginning of the offseason, but he decided to opt-out of the 2020 season due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.  Allison was never expected to make a huge impact, but he’s a stellar run-blocking receiver, plus a veteran pass-catcher who could step in if injuries were to occur.

With Allison out of the picture, it leaves players like Marvin Hall, Quintez Cephus, Chris Lacy, Victor Bolden, and Jamal Agnew to fill out the last three wide-receiver roster vacancies.

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Hall flashed plenty of deep-play ability last season in this Darrell Bevell driven offense.  Hall averaged an incredible 37.3 yards per reception last season, that with Stafford only playing six games with the speedster.  Hall himself had been to held to only nine games due to injuries but produced 261 yards on just seven receptions.  Although he produces elite speed, he does lack size, but Hall should have a role in 2020 with Detroit.

The rookie receiver, Cephus, is expected to make this team from day one, unlike a player like Travis Fulgham from a year ago.  Cephus can play inside as a slot receiver or on the outside.  His versatility works to his benefit.  Bolden and Lacy are both candidates to be cut, although Lacy does posses something Detroit needs, size.  Bolden is primarily a slot receiver and return guy, and Detroit has an abundance of players with a similar skill-set.  That puts Agnew in a prime position to win himself a role on the Lions offense.

Agnew is a stellar kick-returner, and in the past, Detroit used him on offense as a gadget player out of the slot or backfield.  This year the organization decided to move Agnew from the defensive backs room to the receiver room exclusively.

Injuries have often dismantled the Lions receiving corps.  Last season the teams’ top three pass-catchers all failed to finish the season.  For a player like Marvin Jones, injuries have become a common theme; he hasn’t been able to remain healthy in each of the last two seasons.  The Lions are loaded at the corner position, and that helped solidify the decision to move Agnew to the other side of the ball.

During the first week of camp, Agnew is enjoying plenty of success, Agnew scoring a 20-yard touchdown in a scrimmage, and he’s also been forced to impressively contort himself to make a few difficult yet successful grabs against tight coverage.

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If Agnew can become comfortable as a receiver, he will provide Stafford and company with another tremendous play-making weapon on an already explosive unit.