The Detroit Lions need to take a flier on pending free agent DJ Chark.
The 6-foot-4 former second-round pick is headed to free agency for the first time in his career, but signing DJ Chark doesn’t come without risk. Chark has missed all but four games in 2021 after suffering a fractured left ankle. The good news is that it’s not a knee; the bad news, Chark has struggled to remain healthy for an entire season to this point in his career.
Chark, a Pro Bowl talent, flashed in 2019, emerging as the Jacksonville Jaguars top receiver turned 118 targets into 73 catches totaling 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns, making 14 starts.
The Jaguars drafted Chark with the 61st overall pick in 2018 out of LSU. Chark averaged 20.5 yards per reception with the Tigers, totaling 1,351 yards and six touchdowns in 25 total games. With LSU, Chark also scored four rushing touchdowns and rushed for 264 yards on 25 carries.
Chark is the prototypical outside receiver and precisely what the Detroit Lions are currently lacking.
Like Michael Gallup, Spotrac has Chark predicted to make $11.9 million annually. When you think about it, the Detroit Lions could potentially sign Chark and Gallup for nearly what Kenny Golladay earned after leaving Detroit to sign with the Giants in New York. Needless to say, the Lions dodged a bullet by not shelling out $72 million for Golladay over four years.
At 25-years old, Chark is worth taking a flier on and could be a nice compliment to one of the plethora of rookie receivers expected to be drafted in the top 33 in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft.
As it stands now, the Detroit Lions have three picks in the top 33.