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2022 NFL free agency: What WRs are left for the Lions after the franchise tag period?

After a crazy couple days, who’s left?

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

What a crazy week it’s been. Russell Wilson gets traded to the Broncos in a massive deal. Aaron Rodgers signed on to destroy the future of the Green Bay Packers in exchange for first-round dismissals from the playoffs. The Lions brough Josh Reynolds back. Calvin Ridley went full Pete Rose in a league where each team is sponsored by Pete Rose. And the franchise tag claimed some of the best receivers, except for Mike Williams who got a massive, market-setting contract. Did I miss anything?

All of these things touch the Lions in someway. What looked like it was going to be the most interesting and exciting receiver offseason in recent memory has turned into a pedestrian receiver free agency class. In one week, Davante Adams, Chris Godwin, Calvin Ridley, and Mike Williams came off the market. So far the Cowboys haven’t parted ways with Amari Cooper, so you can take him off the list.

The Lions were expected to be players in the receiver world this offseason. They’ve already made one move by bringing back Josh Reynolds. With everything all topsy turvy, who else is out there for the Lions? Well, we’ve got answers for you. Here’s a layout of the top receivers left on the market:

Allen Robinson

2021 stats: 12 games, 38 receptions, 410 yards and 1 touchdown
PFF score: 66.9

Robinson is a 28-year-old Detroit native who seems like a shoo-in for the Lions. But after a rough final season with the Bears where some believe he gave up the team, a future for Robinson in Detroit doesn't seem like such a great idea anymore.

Christian Kirk

2021 stats: 17 games, 77 receptions, 982 yards and 5 touchdowns
PFF Score: 72.7

Many have already suggested the Lions go after Kirk. It’s an interesting move since the Lions have a slot receiver already and the team has reportedly been looking for a big guy on the outside. If their plan is to have St. Brown do a multitude of other things and they want to get their big guy in the draft, then Kirk could be a great addition.

Will Fuller

2021 stats: 2 games, 4 receptions, and 26 yards.
PFF Score: 61.4

Fuller has the speed and the length that the Lions could use at outside receiver. At 6-foot-0, he isn’t the tallest guy out there, but he can outrun just about anyone. The problem is he can only do those things when he’s healthy. Fuller has yet to play a full season in his six-year career, and he’s coming off a season in which he played just two games after breaking his thumb. Still, he would be an interesting option, and the Lions could sign him to a reasonable contract.

JuJu Smith-Schuster

2021 stats: 5 games, 15 receptions and 129 yards.
PFF Score: 59.2

Smith-Schuster started his career as one of the league's most exciting new receivers. He made the Pro Bowl in his second season. Since then, Smith-Schuster has trended downward since. Is that because of Ben Roethlisberger’s decline? Or is it Smith-Schuster declining? Either way, he could be a possible option for the Lions despite being a slot receiver. He can play outside too.

Jakobi Meyers

2021 stats: 17 games, 83 receptions, 866 yards and 2 touchdowns.
PFF Score: 74.9

How about some more Patriot Way in Detroit? Meyers is quietly one of the more interesting options in free agency. Myers showed up big for the surprise Patriots in 2021, and he’s also been suggested as a fit to the Lions. At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Myers is that big outside guy that the Lions want. Rumor has it that the Patriots are looking to bring him back, though.

DJ Chark

2021 stats: 4 games, 7 receptions, 154 yards and 2 touchdowns.
PFF Score: 65.9

Here’s the big guy. The 6-foot-4 Chark would be a great fit for the Lions. The former Pro Bowler is coming off a rough fractured ankle injury that could affect things for Chark in the future. It could also give the Lions a discount if they chose to bring him in. But there’s obvious a risk involved here, too.

Allen Lazard

2021 stats: 15 games, 40 receptions, 513 yards and 8 touchdowns.
PFF Score: 65.5

Lazard is another big-guy option for the Lions. Lizard can go up and get it, and could be Detroit’s much-needed red zone threat. With the Packers making heavy financial investments in Rodgers and Adams, Lazard should probably hit the market.

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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.