The Detroit Lions’ wide receiver position is both vastly interesting this year and completely boring. It’s boring because the top three players—who will be the main contributors in 2020—all remain the same from last year. Kenny Golladay is your WR1, Marvin Jones Jr. is WR2, and Danny Amendola is your starting slot receiver.
But beyond there, things get very interesting. Battling for two or three more roster spots are a fifth-round rookie, and player who averaged nearly 40 yards per catch last year, a transitioning cornerback who’s an All-Pro returner, and a handful of other guys.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Who will be WR4 on the Lions’ roster in 2020?
My answer: Maybe the designation between WR4 and WR5 is insignificant, but let’s just try to narrow this down to the first player that would come in if Jones or Golladay went down with an injury.
Rookie Quintez Cephus likely has the highest ceiling of the reserve receivers, given that he had a solid career at Wisconsin, and he may have been drafted earlier had it not been for his off-the-field issues that caused him to miss the 2018 season.
But it’s hard to ignore Marvin Hall here. Though Hall is more of a slot receiver, he can play on the outside, too, and he did a heck of a job with his limited opportunities last year. He gave the Lions a deep threat to take attention away from Golladay and Jones, and when teams left Hall in one-on-one situations, he made them pay.
He was only targeted 11 times last season, but he turned that into 261 yards. That means every time he was targeted, the Lions were averaging nearly 24 yards per play, even counting the incompletions.
Given that only two of his receptions came from a quarterback not named Matthew Stafford, there’s reason to believe Hall can be a much more productive receiver in 2020 with a fully-healthy starting quarterback. And while he’s not exactly a roster lock, right now he’s my favorite to win the WR4 job.