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2018 training camp preview: Wide receiver

On the roster: Golden Tate, Marvin Jones Jr., Kenny Golladay, TJ Jones, Jace Billingsley, Teo Redding, Deontez Alexander, Dontez Ford, Andy Jones, Chris Lacy, Bradley Marquez, Brandon Powell

Key losses: None

Making the cut: Tate, Marvin Jones, Golladay, TJ Jones

On the bubble: Billingsley, Redding, Alexander, Ford, Andy Jones, Lacy, Marquez and Powell

Table inside Article
Player Games Rec Yards Avg Long TD
Golden Tate 16 92 1,003 10.9 71 5
Marvin Jones Jr. 16 61 1,101 18.0 58 9
Kenny Golladay 11 28 477 17.0 54 3
TJ Jones 14 30 399 13.3 34 1
Jace Billingsley 2 0 0 0.0 0 0
Teo Redding* 11 45 624 13.9 75 8
Dontez Alexander* 11 50 1,137 22.7 81 18
Chris Lacy* 11 20 264 13.2 32 0
Brandon Powell* 11 42 402 9.7 31 3
Andy Jones 2 0 0 0.0 0 0
Bradley Marquez 1 0 0 0.0 0 0
Dontez Ford 0 0 0 0.0 0 0
*college stats

Best competition: If the Lions keep a fifth receiver, who is it?

The Lions kept five receivers on the initial 53-man roster last season, but there's no guarantee that happens again in 2018.

Tate, Marvin Jones, Golladay and TJ Jones look to be a logical top four. Where it gets interesting is if the Lions do in fact decide to keep a fifth.

Billingsley has mainly been a practice squad player the last two years with limited action on the 53-man roster. However, when Tate wasn't at the Lions' last open OTA practice, it was Billingsley running with the first-team offense in the slot.

Redding, the rookie out of Bowling Green, flashed some playmaking skills in OTAs and minicamp. He has a long frame and a huge vertical, and can go get the ball.

It's up to the receivers to make plays in training camp and the preseason to force the Lions to keep five on the roster.

View photos of the wide receivers competing for roster spots entering training camp.

Twentyman's take: Can anyone overtake TJ Jones as the No. 4 receiver?

I don't see it. TJ Jones is smart and dependable, and he's coming off his best season as a professional. He can play every receiver spot, and quarterback Matthew Stafford trusts him.

I like the top four on the roster, and would put them up against any receiver corps in the league. It's a good group with a lot of versatility that can attack all three levels of the field in the passing game.

Training camp and the preseason are really going to be important for the fifth receiver to separate himself from the group. We've seen in past seasons (last year with running back Tion Green in Buffalo) how a great performance in the preseason can earn someone a roster spot.

By the numbers:

7: Tate became just the seventh player in NFL history to record 90-plus receptions in four straight seasons. He's had 92, 91, 90 and 99 the last four seasons with the Lions.

15: 25-plus yard receptions last season for Marvin Jones, which were the third most in the NFL.

613: Tate's yards after the catch last season, which ranked fifth in the NFL and first among all receivers. The Lions as a team ranked third in the NFL in total YAC (2,160).

1,000: Marvin Jones (1,101) and Tate (1,003) became just the seventh pair of Lions receivers to each record 1,000 receiving yards in the same season in franchise history.

Quotable: "We have a good group coming back," wide receivers coach Robert Prince said. "But it's a new year and we're all 0-0 and they have to earn it again this year.

"But I do like the group. They're all working hard and hopefully we'll have some good production out of those guys."

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