The Lions needed to infuse some young talent into that group in this draft, and they addressed that need Saturday by selecting Wisconsin's Quintez Cephus (6-1, 202) with the first of their two fifth-round picks (No. 166 overall).
Cephus led the Badgers in receptions (59), receiving yards (901) and receiving touchdowns (seven) in 14 games this past season, earning honorable mention All-Big Ten honors. He was a three-year starter at Wisconsin.
"I'm a receiver that makes plays," Cephus said in a conference call after the selection. "I'm a complete receiver. I'm willing to block, I'm willing to make catches and I'm willing to do whatever I need to do to help my team to be successful."
He missed the 2018 season after being accused of sexual assault, a charge he was acquitted of in August 2019.
Cephus is more of a possession receiver than a burner, with an NFL-caliber body type. He was a basketball prospect before deciding to play football collegiately instead, so he possesses terrific body control and ball skills, and should get better playing behind Detroit's veteran receivers.
View photos of wide receiver Quintez Cephus.
"I think one of the things that I always did on the basketball court was attach the ball no matter where the ball is," he said. "It's a game that's all about the ball. I have that appreciation for the ball and it challenges my mind to make me want to go get the ball wherever it is. Just that 'attacking the ball' mentality is something that I've had since I was a kid and that's something that I enjoy doing on the football field."
Lions rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah said Cephus was the best receiver he played against this past season when asked at the Combine.
"Jeff is an unbelievable talent," Cephus said of his new teammate. "He was the best guy I lined up against all year. Jeff Okudah, I know he'll get me better and I just can't wait to get to work with him and have fun and knowing he has that same respect for me I have for him. It's going to be a great thing."
He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.73 at the Combine, improving that to 4.62 at his pro day, but said he's worked hard on that aspect of his game this offseason.
"I've been at EXOS out of Phoenix, Ariz., and I've done a lot of work with those coaches out there. Working on my gait or working on my stride and all that – I've just been working in Arizona. Those guys – they know what they're doing. Wherever I am, I'm going to put in the work; I'm going to get to work, so that's what I'm excited to do."