In the fifth-round the Detroit Lions added a couple of skill position players, but likely not the players that many expected Detroit to take at this point.
With guys like Senior Bowl standout Bradlee Anae on the board, Detroit selected two players that are likely special teams players, at best, to start their Lions careers. Let’s break them down individually.
Round 5, Pick 21 (166) - Wisconsin WR Quintez Cephus
Another low-separation receiver
Cephus lacks the athletic traits and the route running skills to create a lot of separation. That actually leaves him in good company in this Lions receiving corps, as none of Detroit’s receivers have exceptional athletic traits.
With pick 166 in the 2020 NFL Draft, the #Lions selected Quintez Cephus, WR, Wisconsin.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 25, 2020
He posted an okay #RAS with good size, very poor speed, great explosiveness, poor agility at the WR position.https://t.co/e0h7qZEdZ4#OnePride pic.twitter.com/BMIDX3Rv3o
As you can see from his athletic card, Cephus has ups, and it leads to some highlight-reel catches when combined with his somewhat reliable hands.
Deeper Sleeper WR Quintez Cephus (Wisconsin, 6’ 1”, 201 lbs). Stats: (30 games) 93 Receptions, 1496 Rec Yards, 16.1 Avg, 13 TD, 9 Rushes, 46 Rush Yards & 5.1 Avg. #QuintezCephus #4EDraft2020 pic.twitter.com/7yy5Vp5Qhs— 49er_Edits (@49er_edits) March 15, 2020
He tracks the ball well and doesn’t seem to mind defenders all over his back. With a quarterback as precise and fast as Matthew Stafford, it could work.
We know the Lions like their receivers to do everything, including blocking, and Cephus is more than willing to accept that role. Unprompted, he brought that up in his introductory teleconference with Detroit media:
“I’m a complete receiver. I’m willing to block. I’m willing to make catches. I’m willing to do whatever I need to do to help my team be successful.”
He uses his size to his advantage in this aspect of his game and will probably come in as one of the more polished blockers in this class of receivers.
Has Okudah’s respect
Although the rest of the tape doesn’t seem to suggest it, Lions first-round pick Jeff Okudah said that Cephus is the best receiver he’s gone against. And, remember, he said this before he was teammates with him:
Jeff Okudah: "Quintez Cephus from Wisconsin, I think he's the best receiver I went against. It doesn't matter what his 40 time was. Football is played in between the lines and he's a technician, someone that I changed my plan up for every single week."— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) April 25, 2020
Cephus isn’t likely to have much of an impact in Year 1, and even his special teams potential seems relatively low. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the sexual assault allegation that cost him a year at Wisconsin, but he was found not guilty, so you can’t hold it against him. Wisconsin coaches have only since praised his character.
“He’s selfless. I think he’s an unbelievable teammate because one, he truly cares about the guys, each individual,” Badgers head coach Paul Chryst said back in December.
Cephus looks like a low-ceiling, low-floor kind of player that I don’t see a huge role for in 2020. This late in the draft, you aren’t getting big contributors anyways, but I just don’t see the potential here. Grade: D
Grade the Quintez Cephus pick
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Round 5, Pick 27 (172) - New Mexico State RB Jason Huntley
New Lions running back/return man Jason Huntley wasn’t invited to the combine. But he did gas the 40 in 4.37 seconds at his pro day. That would have been tops among all backs in Indy.— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) April 25, 2020
Should be a hell of a competition between Jamal Agnew, Ty Johnson and Huntley for return duties
UNBELIEVABLE! Back-to-Back returns for TDs here in the @novaAZBOWL.— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) December 29, 2017
Jason Huntley goes 100 yards for @NMStateFootball. pic.twitter.com/Nmt80DIEXV
And some production, too...
Until his senior year, Huntley wasn’t a big part of New Mexico State’s rushing attack. Although he rushed for 1,090 yards, 7.1 yards per carry and nine touchdowns his senior season, he also had five fumbles.
As a receiver, he hauled in at least 39 catches in three straight seasons, making him a potential weapon in the screen game.
In a lot of ways, Huntley brings exactly what the Lions wanted in last year’s sixth-round selection of Ty Johnson. Johnson didn’t contribute much to the team until late in the season, so this could simply be an attempt to create some competition at the bottom of the running back depth chart and see who wins.
Huntley certainly has a higher ceiling than Cephus, but with Johnson already on the roster, he feels a bit redundant. But if this is a sign the Lions weren’t impressed with Ty, there’s no harm in trying again with a late fifth-round pick. He could also bring some of the gadget play value that Detroit tried to get out of J.D. McKissic last year. Grade: C+
Grade the Jason Huntley pick
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