Detroit Lions wide receivers coach Antwaan Randle El said down at the Senior Bowl last week he hoped the Lions added a WR in free agency and used the NFL Draft to get a couple more to help boost competition.
He said the Lions are on the lookout for a true No. 1 guy to play the X receiver spot and be a dominant threat down the field to complement Amon-Ra St. Brown in the slot.
Currently, St. Brown, Quintez Cephus, Trinity Benson and Javon McKinley are under contract next season, with Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.
View photos of Detroit Lions guard Jonah Jackson and Detroit Lions Cheerleader Micah at the 2022 Pro Bowl in Las Vegas, NV.
Cephus is one to keep an eye once the team gets back in the building and begins the offseason training program. He injured his collar bone Week 5 in Minnesota and was lost for the season. He was off to a pretty good start before the injury. He had 15 receptions for 204 yards and a couple scores in just four and a half games.
"I feel like Q (Cephus) was really taking some strides before he got hurt," Randle El said. "You see flashes in Q for sure because Q just has this unbelievable – like he can get off the field and jump. Being able to just put it up (to him) and make a play. You see him go up one hand and be able to come down with it."
The Lions are on the lookout for a player that can help their offense move the ball down the field. It will be interesting to see where a healthy Cephus, entering year three, might fit into the mix.
Randle El says he's also still intrigued by Benson as well. The Lions traded a fifth-round pick for Benson before the season, but he played in just eight games and caught 10 passes. Randle El said the team viewed him as a developmental player when they traded for him and they haven't given up hope he can be the player they expected.
"He's going to be alright. I think he can help us too," Randle El said of Benson. "You see the speed. You see the route running. You can see the catching ability, especially balls on the sideline, the deep outs and stuff like that. He threatens you in terms of the DB getting out of his break, getting out of your back pedal. We see those things. Now it's just about, 'Hey, how much can we get him in this offense like this is your package.' You see it, you're just like, 'come on, bring it out."
When the dust settles on the offseason and the Lions get back to work in the spring and summer, expect there to be a lot of competition at the wide receiver position.