Where the Lions roster stands: Wide receiver

USA TODAY Sports

A breakdown of the Detroit Lions' wide receivers and what needs they may have at the position.

As we start to look ahead to training camp, we're going to take a position-by-position look at the Detroit Lions roster. Next up is the wide receiver position.

Back from last season: Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Ryan Broyles, Mike Thomas, Kris Durham, Patrick Edwards

New to the team: Corey Fuller, Micheal Spurlock, Devin Thomas, Terrence Austin, Cody Wilson, Matt Willis

The Lions are heading into training camp this year with their top three set at wide receiver. Calvin Johnson, who set the single-season receiving record last season, leads the way as arguably the best wide receiver in all of the NFL. Behind him on the Lions are Nate Burleson and Ryan Broyles, who are both coming back from season-ending injuries. Burleson suffered a broken leg midway through last season, which in turn led to Broyles getting a bigger role in the offense until he suffered another torn ACL. Assuming both players are good to go for the start of the season, they will be the main receivers alongside Johnson.

There is a lot of uncertainty beyond the top three at wide receiver. Guys like Mike Thomas, Kris Durham and Patrick Edwards are back after being with the Lions last season, and all of them will try to make their case to be the team's fourth wide receiver. Then you have new faces like Corey Fuller, Micheal Spurlock, Devin Thomas, Terrence Austin, Cody Wilson and Matt Willis, who are also looking to make their mark and be a part of the rotation at wide receiver.

Another factor that is important with the bottom of the depth chart at wide receiver is the ability to contribute on special teams. In that regard, possible returners like Mike Thomas, Edwards and Spurlock could have an edge when it comes to making the team. And for covering kicks and punts, a guy like Devin Thomas may have the strongest background.

To say the least, training camp and the preseason will be extremely important for all of the players competing to make the team. With spots up for grabs, there is a real opportunity for guys to step up and solidify their case for being on the 53-man roster. Somebody's got to emerge from this group, and hopefully by the end of August there will be several strong candidates instead of several guys who were nothing more than camp bodies.

Need going forward?

The Lions could use a No. 2-caliber wide receiver to really bolster their top four at the position. However, there isn't much out there right now in terms of available free agents. Perhaps as teams start releasing players the Lions might be able to find somebody who could contribute, but this particular need is going to be tough to fill at this point in the offseason.

Previously: Quarterback, running back

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pride Of Detroit

You must be a member of Pride Of Detroit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pride Of Detroit. You should read them.

Join Pride Of Detroit

You must be a member of Pride Of Detroit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pride Of Detroit. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker