There is no question that losing Calvin Johnson is going to leave a void in the Detroit Lions’ offense this season.
You can’t replace a guy with the talent level that Megatron possessed.
The Lions made a bid to fill the void of Johnson when they signed receiver Marvin Jones from the Cincinnati Bengals to a five-year deal, worth $40 million. Jones broke into the league in 2012 and even with missing the entire 2014 season due to ankle and foot injuries, he’s production numbers have elevated each season. His reception numbers along with total yards and number of times targeted have progressed in the right direction. Not Calvin Johnson by a long shot, but Jones will produce on the outside for the Lions.
Golden Tate has been solid since being acquired from the Seattle Seahawks in 2014. He hauled in 99 receptions his first season, which led to his first Pro Bowl appearance and followed that with 90 last season while playing in all 16 regular season games in both seasons.
Corey Fuller, T.J. Jones and Corey Washington are returning from last year’s team.
Both Fuller and Jones provided depth and both saw time in the slot and in the return game last season.
Washington was signed to the practice squad in mid-November of last season and didn’t suit up at all for the Lions.
Of the above-mentioned names, no name really pops out at you as a number one receiver.
Jones was lined up across from A.J. Green in Cincinnati as their #2 and Golden Tate was the #2 receiver on the Lions depth chart behind Calvin Johnson and wasn’t really the clear-cut number one in his days with the Seahawks.
Both guys have the ability to step up and be the number one guy for the Lions, but at this moment, there is no clear-cut number one receiver.
That being said, it’s not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination.
The vibe will be different without Megatron’s presence on the field, but it will make for some great competition among the receivers.
Competition is a great thing in sports. It brings out the best in a player and shows the coaching staff what they have on their roster. Expect the wide receiver position to be a key element that is paid attention to by the coaching staff in training camp.
What do you think, Nation, how do you see the wide receiver depth chart panning out this coming season for the Lions?