The Lions added Chark and Williams to the WR, and clearly needed an upgrade at the position after rolling out Raymond as the WR a few weeks last season. It seems the top 3 spots are set with Williams, Amon Ra, and Chark, but the rest of the room remains open. With Reynolds on a 2 year deal and his relationship with Goff, he is probably in, and with Raymond's return ability, he is probably in as well. Do the Lions keep a 6th receiver? Can Cephus beat out Reynolds? Does he offer enough on special teams to keep?
It feels like Cephus has been counted out because he ran such a slow 40 time at the combine, but was that a true representation of his game speed? He had a RAS of 4.53.
According to GPS data, he ran at 18.38mph. This is in the same ballpark as Justin Jefferson (18.44, 4.43 40) and Chase Claypool (18.77, 4.42 40). If Cephus's speed tested like his play speed, and we put a 4.44 40 on his RAS card, we might feel far different about his athleticism. With making that change, and assuming he sits out the agility scores, just like Jefferson and Claypool did, his RAS card is a 9.69. That's right, a RAS of 9.69, which is the exact same score as Justin Jefferson, who is taller, but less explosive.
I'm not suggesting Cephus is a 4.4 guy, or even as good as Justin Jefferson. I am only suggesting that Cephus plays fast. His GPS data proves he plays fast, and with his explosiveness, could be the perfect depth WR.
Add on top of that, he had a 71.7 PFF score last year, and we may be seriously discounting him. If he had played enough snaps, that would have put him tied as the 44th best WR last year according to PFF. Goff had a 127.8 passer rating when targeting Cephus. That score puts him just above Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick.
Don't Sleep on Cephus.