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Monday open thread: What should we expect from Quintez Cephus?

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Can the rookie receiver carve out a role?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 07 Big Ten Championship Game Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Between Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., and Danny Amendola, the Detroit Lions have a solid arsenal of wide receivers. But can Quintez Cephus add to this list?

The rookie out of Wisconsin is looking to make the team as their fourth (or fifth) wide receiver. While he faces competition from the likes of Marvin Hall, Travis Fulgham, Jamal Agnew, among others, it seems like a safe bet that he makes the team, either on the final roster or the practice squad.

Cephus will likely contribute in the Lions’ “Big Slot” role. It isn’t a position that requires speed like Hall or Agnew have. Instead, it relies on a quick step and physicality, which plays to his strengths. As Alex Reno broke down in his profile of Cephus, he isn’t the quickest receiver on the field, but much like Golladay and Jones, he can win battles on the line of scrimmage and for the ball.

However, Cephus is just a fifth-round pick, so a minor role for this season—and perhaps the next—is to be expected. But what could that look like? Let’s look at some recent Lions draft picks.

Fulgham was drafted in the sixth round last year, but did not record a catch and played sparingly. Going forward, he is firmly on the roster bubble, showing that being a draft pick is no guarantee for a roster spot.

Golladay was drafted in the third round of the 2017 draft, so he came in with bigger expectations than Cephus will have. Golladay notched 477 yards and three touchdowns in an injury-shortened rookie season. He has turned out alright.

Back in 2014 and 2015, the Lions chose Corey Fuller and TJ Jones in the sixth round of their respective draft years. However, much like Fulgham, neither contributed in their rookie seasons, with very little long-term impact either.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

What should we expect from Quintez Cephus?

My answer: I expect Cephus is hit 200 receiving yards this season. This does not fall in line with recent Day 3 draft picks, but this season could prove to be an abnormality.

In a normal year, I would be surprised if he hit even 100 yards. However, due to COVID-19, it raises the possibility of players missing weeks to quarantine. With what could be an abridged training camp, teams will likely have to rely on scouting, and being a recent draft pick, Cephus is plenty familiar to the current coaching staff. How he will translate to the NFL is a question, of course, but he probably gets an edge over Victor Bolden, Geremy Davis, and other free agent acquisitions.

Not only do I think Cephus is a strong bet to make the roster, but if one of Golladay, Jones, or Amendola miss time, I believe he will be first in line to fill that role. In an offense with Matthew Stafford at the helm, there will be plenty of opportunities to shine.

Your turn.