clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Where The Lions Roster Stands: Wide Receiver

Previously: Quarterback, Running Back, Fullback

Returning from last season: Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Bryant Johnson, Derrick WilliamsTim Toone (he was on the practice squad for the first part of last season and later ended up on injured reserve), Mike Moore (he was on the practice squad last season)

Currently a free agent: Stefan Logan (he is an exclusive-rights free agent)

New to the team: Titus Young (he was picked by the Lions in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft)

The headliner at wide receiver for the Detroit Lions is Calvin Johnson. He is quite possibly the most talented player on the entire team, and if Matthew Stafford can stay healthy all season, it is expected that Johnson will put up some huge numbers in 2011. Even without Stafford for most of last season Johnson had a Pro Bowl year, and there's no reason to believe he won't do the same again this year.

After Johnson you have Nate Burleson, who signed with Detroit last offseason. Burleson's numbers last season were respectable, and he is once again expected to be the Lions' No. 2 wide receiver.

One reason to believe that both Johnson and Burleson could put up bigger numbers in 2011 is the addition of Titus Young, who was selected by the Lions in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Young is a player that the Lions think can stretch the field and make defenses pay for focusing too much on Johnson and Burleson. If Young can cause defenses to worry about him as well, suddenly you have three play-making targets for Stafford to throw at, and that's only at wide receiver.

Bryant Johnson and Derrick Williams will likely be competing for the fourth wide receiver spot on the Lions' roster in 2011. The two players got to compete for the third spot last year, but they were both so disappointing that Martin Mayhew made it a point to find a new No. 3. That is why Young was drafted, and now Johnson and Williams are going to have to battle to even lock down a spot on the roster. Being pushed by second-year receivers Tim Toone and Mike Moore, it's possible both Johnson and Williams could be cut.

The other player listed as a receiver on the Lions roster is Stefan Logan, but he really isn't a receiver. Last season Logan didn't have a single catch. He did contribute offensively with 15 carries for 95 yards, but Logan is a returner first and foremost. He took one kick return back for a touchdown in 2010 and averaged 26.3 yards a return. He should be back again in 2011, but obviously not for his skills as a wideout.

Need going forward?

The Lions' top three spots at wide receiver are set with Calvin Johnson, Burleson and Young. After that it's really a crapshoot. I don't have any faith in Bryant Johnson or Williams at this point, and it's tough to tell if either Toone or Moore will be ready to make the 53-man roster. I would think a signing or two at this position is warranted not only to add some depth for training camp, but also to drive the competition for the fourth WR spot.

Subscribe to PODD

After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.