It’s no secret that the Detroit Lions receiving corps is as thin as it’s been in a very long time. Even the 2008 Lions had Calvin Johnson. If there weren't enough questions already, the Lions cutting Breshad Perriman on Monday added to the queue. The biggest questions are what is this receiving corps going to look like, and will the Lions look for help before the season?
Half of those questions were answered on Tuesday when the Lions sent their 2022 fifth and seventh-round picks to the Denver Broncos for receiver Trinity Benson and a 2023 sixth-round pick.
Who is Trinity Benson, exactly? There’s not much tape out there on the former East Central standout. He went undrafted in 2019 and has spent the entirety of his two-year career on the Broncos practice squad. It’s hard to not look at the trade and wonder if the Broncos smelled blood in the water and saw a desperate Lions team looking to get a new receiver. It seems like maybe Brad Holmes got fleeced here.
Broncos Insider Benjamin Albright doesn’t seem to think that though.
“He was WR5 on a pretty stacked roster. I think the Lions got a good deal.” Albright told Pride of Detroit. “Saw him go from a really good athlete to a good football player. He was loved by his teammates. Says a lot about the guy.”
Albright is right about the Broncos receiving corps being stacked. They’ve currently got Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton running things in their receiving game with KJ Hamler and Tim Patrick backing them up. They’ve also got Noah Fant, who is expected to see plenty of targets in 2021. Benson is the odd man out, which actually makes the Lions the perfect fit for him.
Albright mentioned that Benson’s best strength, besides being a hard worker and good teammate, was that he’s best used on deep routes. Theoretically, the 6-foot, 180 pound receiver could be to the Lions what they hoped Breshad Perriman could be. A guy who can flat out run, catch deep balls, and keep the defense honest by stretching the field vertically.
His weakness does present an issue, though. Albright says he has trouble getting off the press and setting up short routes. This, of course, puts a limit on what the Lions can do with him.
Perhaps this is just a case of the Lions, who are lined up to have a couple extra compensatory picks next year, taking a flier on a guy who can benefit from more exposure in Detroit where he’ll get a chance to see some regular season targets.
“He’ll make the roster, and work his way into playing time,” Albright said. “Probably best as a WR3/4 as a slot option.”
This wouldn’t be the worst ceiling for an undrafted guy. Only time will tell if he can bust through that ceiling, or if this is a risk taken by Holmes that turns out to be a gaffe.