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O'HARA'S DRAFT PREVIEW: 5 wide receivers that could interest Lions

Quarterbacks are the stars of the 2021 draft, but wide receivers who helped them put up their gaudy stats aren't far behind.

Once the run on quarterbacks slows down -- some projections have quarterbacks as the first four picks -- wide receivers will move to the forefront.

There is depth and quality in this year's class of receivers, although not quite at the level of last year.

The talent pool is deep enough for the Detroit Lions to get a quality wide receiver if they take one with the seventh pick overall.

Ja'Marr Chase of LSU and the Alabama duo of Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith have been speculated on as possible picks for the Lions.

Following is the wide receiver position's draft strength, the Lions' depth and draft priority at the position, and five wide receivers who could fit the Lions.

Lions wide receiver depth chart: Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, Kalif Raymond, Damion Ratley, Tom Kennedy, Quintez Cephus, Victor Bolden, Geronimo Allison.

Lions wide receiver draft stat: Cephus is an example of how good receivers are available throughout the draft. Cephus was a fifth-round pick out of Wisconsin last year. He played 13 games for the Lions with two starts and had 20 receptions for 349 yards and two TDs.

Wide receiver draft strength and priority for Lions: It's a strong draft but not quite as strong as last year, when 35 wide receivers were drafted, with six in the first round.

The Lions are likely to add young talent at receiver, and taking one in the first round is not out of the question, especially if Chase is on the board when they make their first pick.

Five receivers who could fit the Lions:

1. Ja'Marr Chase, LSU

6-0, 201

Stats line: Two-year player, with 27 career games, and a full-time starter only in 2019. He did enough that season to project himself as the top receiver in the draft: 14 games, 84 catches, 1,780 yards and 20 TDs for the national champs. Opted out in 2020.

How he could fit the Lions: Overall ability and playmaking skills could let him step in as a No. 1 receiver.

2. Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

5-10, 182

Stats line: Three-year player, 34 games, but only six in 2020 because of injuries. Highly rated despite only 106 career catches, with a high of 45 in 2018.

How he could fit the Lions: Comparisons to Chiefs star Tyreek Hill have to be proven on the field -- where Waddle showed extreme playmaking ability.

3. DeVonta Smith, Alabama

6-0, 170

Stats line: Four-year player, 235 catches with only eight as a freshman. Exploded in 2020: 117 catches, 1,856 yards, 23 TDs and won the Heisman Trophy. Slight build raises questions about ability to hold up under NFL contact.

How he could fit the Lions: Versatility in how he was used at Alabama makes him attractive.

4. Kadarius Toney, Florida

6-0, 193

Stats line: Three-year player, 30 games, 105 career catches with a breakout 2020 season: 70 catches, 984 yards, 10 TDs. Also had 52 career carries, 460 yards and one TD.

How he could fit the Lions: Toughness, with ability to make tacklers miss.

5. Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU

6-2, 205

Stats line: Three-year player, 32 games and only seven in 2020 when he took over as the No. 1 receiver when Chase opted out. Marshall put up good stats: 48 catches, 732 yards and 10 TDs. Also had 46 catches and 13 TDs in the 2019 national championship season as a second option to Chase.

How he could fit the Lions: Produced his last two seasons at LSU and made tough catches.

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