The Detroit Lions have selected North Carolina wide receiver Antoine Green with the 219th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Barring a late trade up, the Lions have exhausted all of their 2023 draft picks, bringing to a close an eventful few days.
My grade: A
As I mentioned with Colby Sorsdal, Day 3 picks are more about potential than anything. Especially in the seventh round, finding an immediate impact player is rare, but I think the Lions did well with Green. Wide receiver is a position that should be drafted on a near-annual basis—you can never go wrong with pass catching depth. When you factor in the recent Lions betting scandal, wide receiver depth was needed more than ever.
With enough speed to be a vertical threat coupled with enough size to outmuscle some defenders, Green projects nicely as an X receiver. The Lions don’t have a true X receiver on their roster right now following the offseason departure of DJ Chark. The suspension of Jameson Williams—perhaps the next-best option at X receiver—further helps Green’s cause. Green, a former track athlete, has an elite athletic profile, which is always a bonus for late-round picks. Green won’t immediately slot into the starting lineup, but he has a very clear route to the final roster:
Antoine Green was a frequent deep ball factor last season at North Carolina. Of his 65 targets, a third traveled 20 or more yards beyond the line of scrimmage. His average target depth was just over 18 yards.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) April 29, 2023
The draft value of Green is fair as well. Green was widely considered a draftable prospect, so you can’t fault the Lions for spending a seventh rounder on him. There wasn’t an obviously superior receiving prospect on the board either. Colton Dowell went to the Tennessee Titans a few picks later, while fellow X receivers prospects Bryce Ford-Wheaton, Grant DuBose, and Jalen Wayne were still on the board. The latter three were comparable to Green in terms of consensus draft value, so the Lions didn’t make an egregious selection.
The Lions will have some training camp battles in the receiving room. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Reynolds, Kalif Raymond, and Marvin Jones Jr. are roster locks, while Williams and Stanley Berryhill will be serving six-game suspensions. That leaves Maurice Alexander, Trinity Benson, and Tom Kennedy, none of whom are serious challengers for an X role. The Lions will likely add an undrafted rookie or two as well, but expect Green to get plenty of opportunities to shine.
Green has reasonable late-round value with plenty of promise and a good scheme fit. You can’t ask for more than that with your final draft pick.
What grade do you give the Lions for the Antoine Green pick?
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