Lions see Broyles excelling as a slot receiver

Posted May 4, 2012

The Lions drafted receiver Ryan Broyles with a very specific idea of the role he’d play in their offense next season.

“(He) will be a great fit for us and really helps our offensive skill,” Lions general manager Martin Mayhew told the media after the pick. “(He’s) another receiving weapon for our quarterback and we feel great about the pick.”

The Lions see Broyles as a perfect fit in the slot, and wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson thinks Broyles can excel there.

“For a guy like (Broyles), who plays the (slot), one of the strong points is that (he) has to operate in traffic where things get rough inside, where the Ray Lewis’ hang out,” Jefferson said. “That’s the area he’s going to be in and he has to make plays.

“In that area, you’re going to get hit because most of the time you’re right between linebackers. I’ve seen it time-and-time again on film with (Broyles). I see he has linebackers bearing down on him and it’s no biggie to go make the catch, get up and go play the next play. This guy just has a knack for making plays.”

Making plays was all Broyles did at Oklahoma. He had 131 catches as junior and more than 4,500 receiving yards and 45 touchdowns for his career.

The 5-foot-10, 192-pound Broyles joins a potent Lions receiving corps led by Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson and last year’s second-round pick, Titus Young.

“I think he can have the same type of impact that Titus (Young) had as a rookie,” Jefferson said.

“He’s one of these guys to get us over the hump, like Titus did (last year). Titus came in and helped us get to the playoffs and this is the type of guy that can come in and help us get to the next round.”

Young had 607 receiving yards and six touchdowns as a rookie.

“The thing that really stuck out to me about (Broyles) was his toughness,” Jefferson said. “He just has a feel for the game.

“I think now that we have this guy, maybe you’ll see some four- and five-receiver sets. I don’t know what (offensive coordinator) Scott (Linehan) is going to do. With a guy like Broyles, it’s going to be hard to keep him off the field.”

Jefferson said Broyles has a natural knack for the slot position. He consistently found the open spots in the zone in college and Jefferson views him as a receiver who doesn't need a good scheme to get open.

“If there’s a ball thrown where he knows he’s going to get hit, there’s no hesitation, he’s going up to get that ball,” Jefferson said. “He’s tough and he has true natural hands.”