Through three preseason games, the Detroit Lions' wide receivers haven't been very impressive. Part of that stems from the fact that Calvin Johnson has missed two games, and Ryan Broyles' lack of involvement with the first-team offense hasn't helped. The hope was that with more playing time up for grabs, some of the guys lower on the depth chart would step up and grab hold of roster spots, but that really hasn't happened.
It's pretty clear at this point that the Lions just don't have much talent at wide receiver once you get beyond the top spots on the depth chart. The Lions did try to make a couple moves during the offseason to address this problem -- they tried to sign Darrius Heyward-Bey, for example -- but none of them really panned out. As a result, they are now scrambling to find help at this position, and Jason La Canfora reports that they are in the market to trade for a "starting-caliber" wide receiver.
Hearing the Lions are getting a jump-start on this week's roster cuts/changes. Calling around to try to acquire a starting-caliber WR.— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) August 25, 2013
As of right now, the Lions' top three at wide receiver includes Johnson, Broyles and Nate Burleson. Patrick Edwards is currently in position to be the fourth wide receiver, and if the Lions keep five, Matt Willis will probably get that spot. A trade that gives the Lions a wide receiver who is good enough to start would likely push Willis off the 53-man roster, and Edwards could be cut as well.
I'm glad the Lions realize there is a problem at the wide receiver position, but it's not good that nobody stepped up during training camp to fill this need. Now the Lions are once again scrambling to add some talent at wide receiver. Hopefully if they do make a trade it'll end up being better than their move to acquire Mike Thomas last season. That move was the result of desperation for wide receiver help, and I would hope the Lions will be a little more careful this time around.