The Detroit Lions gave up on WR Travis Fulgham much to early

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

It appears the Detroit Lions gave up on receiver Travis Fulgham far too early.

Just when we’re trying to figure out what is slowing down the Detroit Lions offense, we are forced to see a former draft choice excel elsewhere.  General manager Bob Quinn used the 184th pick in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft on wide receiver Travis Fulgham.

Like many rookies, Fulgham struggled early on to get up to speed, making the transition from being a college athlete to a professional.  As a rookie, Fulgham appeared in three contests for the Detroit Lions but failed to make a reception on just three total targets.

It is a wide receiver position that is currently log-jammed in Detroit.  The Lions are led by Kenny Golladay, followed by Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, Quintez Cephus, Marvin Hall, and Jamal Agnew.  This group left a player like Fulgham as the odd man out.

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The Lions tried to slip the second-year pass-catcher onto their practice squad for the second straight year. Still, the reeling Philadelphia Eagles scooped him up and immediately inserted him into the lineup.

Fulgham has made the most of his opportunity.  The second-year man has recorded a receiving touchdown in each of his three starts.  He’s averaging 15.8 yards per reception and has converted on 15 first down opportunities through three games.  Fulgham has amassed 284 yards, three scores on 18 receptions through his first three games.

Now Fulgham’s opportunities come due to a depleted roster.  He’s being targeted as a team’s number one pass-catcher with Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Jalen Reagor, all sidelined with various injuries.  The former Lion torched the Steelers for 152 yards on ten grabs in Week Five.  He’s now solidified himself as a regular in the lineup even after the Eagles return to full health.

But with Jones off to a slow start in 2020 and Golladay having missed the first couple of games this season, Fulgham’s production is exactly what the Detroit Lions are missing.

A player like Jones had been expected to excel through the first two weeks of the season with Golladay sidelined but could not find any traction.  After Detroit’s top playmaker returned, my thought process was maybe with defenses rolling over the top coverage to Golladay; Jones would be able to feast on single coverage.  That has yet to happen.

Through the first five games of the season, Jones has corralled 14 receptions totaling 146 yards and a touchdown.  It’s just not enough production from a number two pass-catcher.  Even missing two games, Golladay leads Detroit with 224 receiving yards.

The Lions have gotten their best complementary production from second-year tight end T.J. Hockenson and the savvy veteran slot receiver Amendola.  Amendola ranks second on the team with 208 yards on 12 catches.  Hockenson leads the organization with 17 receptions and three touchdowns.  His 197 receiving yards currently rank third on the team.

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It’s apparent the Lions should have given Fulgham a look in three-wide sets during the first two weeks of the season, and the type of production he’s producing for the Eagles is undoubtedly missed in Detroit.