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2023 position breakdown: Wide receivers

The good: The Lions had one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL this season and their pass game was a big reason why. Detroit finished second in the NFL in net passing and third in total yards.

Led by third-year wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit's receiving corps was one of the most consistent and productive in the NFL. Detroit led the NFL with a contested catch percentage of 53.4 percent, producing 39 catches on 73 contested targets. They were third in completions of 20-plus yards (70), second in passing first downs (228) and third in yards per play (5.9).

St. Brown had a monster season with over 100 catches, 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns. He earned his first All-Pro nod and is considered among the best in the NFL at only 24 years old.

Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond were solid all season, and second-year wide receiver Jameson Williams developed into a reliable weapon.

View photos of the Detroit Lions wide receivers from the 2023 NFL season.

The bad: As we saw in the NFC Championship Game, drops were an issue for this group. Detroit's drop percentage of 5.6 on 432 catchable passes ranked 22nd in the NFL.

Key stat: One area where Detroit is really dangerous is when they get their playmakers in space. That goes not only for St. Brown and Williams from the receiving corps, but also tight end Sam LaPorta and running back Jahmyr Gibbs.

Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is really good at scheming players open in space and they know what to do with it when they get it. Detroit's 2,211 yards after the catch this season ranked fifth in the NFL.

MVP: Amon-Ra St. Brown

It was a breakout season for St. Brown as he recorded the most 100-yard receiving games among all players in the league and ranked second in receptions (119), third in yards (1,515), third in first downs (75), first in yards after the catch (677) and fifth in 15-plus-yard receptions (35).

Over his first three seasons in the NFL St. Brown is third in NFL history in receptions (315) and eighth in receiving yards (3,588).

Most improved: Jameson Williams

Comparing where Williams finished the season and where he was at the start of the year is like night and day. We have to remember this season was essentially his rookie year after he played in just six games as a rookie. Then to begin this year, he missed a chunk of training camp with a hamstring injury and was suspended the first four games of the season.

By the end of the year Williams was an impact player. He was averaging over 40 snaps per game. He rushed for a 42-yard touchdown and caught a touchdown in the NFC Championship Game.

"I was so proud of watching him and all the plays that he's had over this postseason run and the latter half of the season," Raymond said of Williams. "Everything he was doing it didn't come as a surprise because he was putting in so much work. It was actually crazy to see how much work he put in."

Free agents: Donovan Peoples-Jones (unrestricted), Josh Reynolds (unrestricted)

Reynolds had a couple uncharacteristic drops in the loss to the 49ers but he's been one of Detroit's most reliable targets since arriving in Detroit. He and quarterback Jared Goff have great chemistry. Reynolds caught 40 passes for over 600 yards and five touchdowns this season.

Peoples-Jones was brought in at the trade deadline to add depth to the receiving corps and he ended up playing a big role as Detroit's punt returner in the playoffs after Raymond suffered a knee injury the final week of the regular season. There's some versatility in his game.

Draft: A team can never have too many playmakers at receiver, but adding one isn't a top priority this offseason with St. Brown, Williams and Raymond all coming back. Maybe a big-bodied pass catcher would fit the room and add another skillset to the group.

This is a really good group of receivers entering the NFL Draft this season. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah recently released his Top 50 prospects list and 11 receivers are on it: Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr. (No. 2), Washington's Rome Odunze (No. 3), LSU's Malik Nabers (No. 7), LSU's Brian Thomas Jr. (No. 15), North Carolina's Devontez Walker (No. 26), Texas' Adonai Mitchell (No. 34), Florida State's Keon Coleman (No. 38), Oregon's Troy Franklin (No. 39), Texas' Xavier Worthy (No. 43), Georgia's Ladd McConkey (No. 44) and Western Kentucky's Malachi Corley (No. 50).

Quotable: Lions head coach Dan Campbell on St. Brown using his initial Pro Bowl snub as motivation:

"Look, Saint will always find – he's going to find that and that's what you've got to love about it. That's why he's the ultimate competitor because he can look at something and say, 'You know what? Alright, well if you don't think it's good enough, watch this.' So, yeah, I mean there's a reason why he's who he is and it's because he's wired that way.

"There's nothing fake about that. That's exactly how he thinks. Watch him in practice. He works like that every day. He works like he wants to be the best and he believes he can be the best. And so, man, you can't have enough of those guys. I mean how do you fail when you have guys like that."

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