Detroit Lions: It is Quintez Cephus’ time to shine in 2021

(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions are entering the 2021 season in full rebuild mode under new head coach Dan Campbell. Campbell was given a six-year contract in the Motor City, signaling that he will be given sufficient time to “re-tool” the team.

One exciting advantage Detroit has over other NFL teams is that most of their coaching staff are former players. Anthony Lynn was recently brought in as the new offensive coordinator after spending 2020 as San Diego Chargers head coach. There, he helped develop first-year quarterback Justin Herbert who was the NFL rookie of the year.

Former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell is now the quarterback coach in Detroit. Considering the Lions’ current quarterback situation with Jared Goff and a possible rookie joining the team via the NFL Draft, Brunell appears to be the perfect coach to help develop Detroit’s signal-callers.

Other coaches include:

In my opinion, the hires that were brought in are a great start to building a contending team in the NFC North. Now comes the building of the roster.

NFL Free Agency begins on March 17, and the NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 26. It’s obviously hard to predict who Campbell and the company will bring in to join the team.

What’s not so hard to predict is who’s leaving the team. Marvin Jones has been the Lions No. 1 wide receiver on and off for a few years. He’s now a free agent heading into his tenth season.

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For Jones, “nothing is off the table,” as he said in a Sirius XM radio interview.

Other wide receivers that will hit the market are:

  • Danny Amendola
  • Mohamed Sanu
  • Kenny Golladay
  • Jamal Agnew

That’s basically everyone, but there is one guy left.

2020 Detroit Lions second-round draft pick: Quintez Cephus

Quintez Cephus was selected in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft with pick 166 overall. He played his college football at the University of Wisconsin, where he had 93 receptions, for1,496 yards, and 13 touchdowns.

Cephus is a strong, aggressive, physical receiver. He doesn’t have burst, but he runs routes well and finds a way to get open.  If he’s not open, he still catches the ball in a small window.

"Size and body positioning create workable windows in tight quarters and his ball skills build trust with the quarterback. He’s a build-up runner who lacks suddenness to uncover and may need to be motioned, bunched, and lined in the slot to help with early separation. Teams know he can catch it but will need to see him get open. — NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein"

When the 2021 season kicks off, Cephus will likely be the only wide receiver on the roster, but others will be brought in. The Lions could go wideout in the first round at No. 7.

Guys like Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith will probably be available. Does Detroit bring in a wide receiver with their first-round pick?

"Doesn’t offer that late burst to the football and his speed is gradual. Battles through tightness in his lowers on horizontal cuts. Twitch and suddenness is missing. — The Draft Network’s Joe Marino"

It’s highly probable if you put any stock into the mock drafts many NFL analysts have been putting out.

Whether someone that is highly talented is brought in through the NFL Draft or free agency, Cephus will have an amazing opportunity to show the world what he has.

And he’s ready.

Cephus started two games in 2020, totaling 349-yards off of 20 receptions. He also scored two touchdowns. The opportunity will be there to impress Campbell, Lynn, Brunell, and others.

He absolutely has the talent to be a successful NFL wide receiver because he’s a tough, physical route runner. Campbell is certainly looking for toughness in his players, so it should be a natural fit.

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I cannot wait to watch Cephus on the field in 2021. In my opinion, he was a steal as a fifth-round pick, but only time will tell.