Detroit Lions: 5 low-budget WR’s to target in free agency

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Detroit Lions
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The Detroit Lions need to consider signing Keelan Cole.

Keelan Cole would not just add depth to the Detroit Lions receiving corps. Still, he could potentially solve another issue and provide the organization with a valuable kick/punt returner.

We are still unsure of Jamal Agnew’s future with the Lions, and he’s still a work in progress after moving from a defensive back to a gadget-type receiver on offense.  A player like Cole may not be as electric as Agnew in the return game, but he’s a significant upgrade as a WR3 on offense. With the decreasing salary cap, teams should be looking to sign players that can serve multi-purpose roles.

Cole has the ability to provide the Lions with options on offense as he can effectively work as an outside receiver and out of the slot.

After landing with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent, Cole has carved out a decent career for himself as a depth pass-catcher and has shown flashes of being a second option if he’s pressed into duty due to injuries.

As a rookie Cole actually led the Jaguars with 748 yards on 42 grabs.  Last season, Cole corralled 55 passes on 88 targets totaling 642 yards and finding the end zone five times, despite lackluster quarterback play.

Cole also returned nine punts totaling 140 yards, one of which he took back 91 yards for a touchdown.

Over his four-year NFL career, Cole has made 159 receptions totaling 2,242 yards and 12 touchdowns while averaging 14.1 yards per reception.

To me, this could be another one of those under the radar-type signings that could become valuable to the Lions and quarterback Jared Goff.  Cole is coming off of a one-year deal that paid $3.2 million.

The Detroit Lions may be able to land the depth receiver for about $5 million per season, and to me, that is a fair deal.