LIONS INSIDER

Important offseason ahead for WR Ryan Broyles

Posted Mar 3, 2015

Wide receiver Ryan Broyles is entering the final year of his rookie deal in 2015 so this is an important offseason for him to make his mark.

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew has always been a big fan of wide receiver Ryan Broyles.

Mayhew selected Broyles in the second round of the 2012 draft in hopes that he could become a catching machine in the NFL much like he was during his college days at Oklahoma.

But injuries have prevented Broyles from reaching his true potential thus far. Two ACL surgeries and a repaired Achilles tendon have been the big stories his first three years.

Broyles was healthy in 2014, but found himself behind Golden Tate on the depth chart.

Ryan BroylesWR Ryan Broyles (Photo: Gavin Smith / Detroit Lions)

"I would have loved to have seen him get out on the field and play for us," Mayhew said right after the season. "Unfortunately, there were guys ahead of him, and they stayed relatively healthy for the most part.

“The reason why he didn't play was because nobody got hurt. The other guys were featured in our offense, we had plans for those guys in the offense, and he was our first reserve off the bench."

Broyles is entering the final year of his rookie deal in 2015 and this is an important offseason for him to try and make his mark. He’ll be a year and a half removed from his Achilles injury and Mayhew and the coaches are hoping some of his explosion comes back.

What Broyles’ ultimate role will be in 2015, if he has a role at all, will be determined this offseason.

“If Ryan Broyles comes in here during OTAs and he’s tearing it up, then the coaches are going to put him in the game,” Mayhew said at last month’s NFL Scouting Combine. “He’s going to play. A lot of times it's up to (the player). As much as you might want something for somebody, if they don’t want something for themselves, or for whatever reason it doesn’t happen, it’s not going to happen.”

Broyles caught 349 passes for 4,586 yards and 45 touchdowns in college. He left the NCAA as the all-time leader in receptions.

In three seasons in Detroit, the first two cut short by injury, Broyles has caught 32 passes for 420 yards and two touchdowns.

Mayhew said head coach Jim Caldwell is unique in the sense that he tells players it’s their team and how they perform is really up to them.

Calvin Johnson and Tate are one of the best receiving duos in the NFL, and the Lions really like the development they’ve seen from Corey Fuller heading into his third season, but the fourth, fifth and sixth receiver spots are up for grabs.

“I think a lot of our young players are in the situation Ryan is, which is, you come in this offseason and everyone starts in the same place," Mayhew said. "And then we go to work. And then you earn your opportunities, you know? And I think that's where Ryan Broyles is."