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2019 training camp preview: Wide receiver

On the roster: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola, Jermaine Kearse, Tommylee Lewis, Travis Fulgham, Brandon Powell, Andy Jones, Tom Kennedy, Jonathan Duhart, Chris Lacy, Deontez Alexander, Brandon Reilly

Key losses: Bruce Ellington, TJ Jones

Table inside Article
Name Games Rec. Yards Avg. Long TD
Kenny Golladay 15 70 1,063 15.2 60 5
Marvin Jones Jr. 11 35 508 14.5 39 5
Danny Amendola* 15 59 575 9.7 39 1
Jermaine Kearse+ 14 37 371 10.1 29 1
Tommylee Lewis# 7 3 60 20.0 28 1
Travis Fulgham^ 12 63 1,083 17.2 62 9
Brandon Powell 6 11 129 11.7 41 0
Andy Jones 8 11 80 7.3 15 1
Jonathan Durhart^ 12 74 1,045 14.1 83 9
Chris Lacy 1 0 0 0.0 0 0

*with Dolphins +with Jets #with Saints ^college stats

(Deontez Alexander, Tom Kennedy and Brandon Reilly did not record any statistics in 2018)

Best competition: Who emerges after the top three?

We can probably all agree that Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola are the top three at the position heading into camp. Golladay and Jones are both 1,000-yard receivers, and Amendola is one of the better slot receivers in the league. Together, they’re a quality top three.

Who emerges as the No. 4 and potentially No. 5 (if the Lions keep five receivers on the initial 53-man roster) will be a fun competition to watch in camp.

Jermaine Kearse has to be the favorite for the No. 4 spot heading into camp. He’s a seven-year veteran with over 250 career catches, and he has experience in Darrell Bevell’s offense from their time together in Seattle.

Brandon Powell and Andy Jones got an opportunity to play late last season, and both made the most of that opportunity. Jones caught a touchdown in Buffalo Week 15. Powell caught six passes for 103 yards in the season finale in Green Bay.

Tommylee Lewis is a slot receiver and burner with experience as both a receiver and return man.

The Lions spent a late-round draft pick on Travis Fulgham, which means he’ll get an opportunity to prove himself in camp.

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

Twentyman’s take: Golladay broke out last season with the first 1,000-yard season of his career. I expect those numbers to continue to improve as long as he stays healthy. He’s big, strong, and faster than most defenders give him credit for. He’s a hard worker. With Amendola inside, and the improvements the Lions have made at the tight end position, Golladay should get plenty of opportunities to see favorable coverage.

Marvin Jones fits this new offense with his ability to make plays down the field. Bevell wants to be balanced, but isn’t afraid to push the ball down the field in the pass game. That’s where Marvin Jones is at his best.

Amendola had an 80 percent catch rate in the slot last season with only one drop. He was also among the leaders in Next Gen Stats' rankings of receivers who gain the most separation from defenders. He’s a nice addition in the slot, and is already building a rapport with quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Having Kearse, and a number of hungry youngsters behind him, should make for some good competition at the position in camp.

By the numbers:

1,063: Golladay reached the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the first time in his career with 1,063 yards on 70 catches (15.1 avg.). He posted three 100-yard receiving games, including a career-high 146-yard performance on seven receptions at Buffalo in Week 15. He also hauled in a career-best eight catches for 113 yards against Carolina Week 11.

17: Completed passes that traveled at least 20-plus yards in the air for the Lions' offense last season. That tied for 20th in the NFL. Their three touchdowns on such passes were the second fewest in the league.

4: Games since the start of the 2016 season in which Marvin Jones has recorded at least 100 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Only Antonio Brown and Tyreek Hill have more with five each.

7.4: Lions pass catchers dropped 7.4 percent of the passes thrown their way in 2018, which was up from 5.6 percent the year before. Detroit’s drop percentage was the 14th highest in the NFL.

Quotable: “We want to be explosive in the passing game,” Bevell said this offseason. “When we throw the ball, we want to be able to throw it down the field and get big plays.”

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