NFL Draft 2014: 10 WR Prospects the Detroit Lions Should Target

1 of 11

10 Possible WR Targets For Detroit Lions

lions
Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

It's been widely noted that the Detroit Lions will be looking to select a wide receiver in the upcoming NFL draft. Since Calvin Johnson carried the load for the team in the passing game last season, the Lions want to find a guy to take the load of catches off the superstar.

Seeing as Detroit let go of veteran wide out Nate Burleson this offseason after a 2013 season in which he couldn't perform to the best of his abilities due to a broken arm that sidelined him for a chunk of games, the Lions are in the market for cheap, young talent. The draft has to be the best location to grab a wide out and there have been rumors circulating about who the young Lions should take.

The Lions could be one of the most talented teams in football, but they constantly underperform and live up to the stereotype that they are young, fiery and immature. It seemed like immaturity was the major issue under the Jim Schwartz reign, but now that Jim Caldwell is in charge, it could be a different story.

If Detroit snags a wide out with the 10th overall pick in the upcoming draft, some Lions fans may cringe and reflect on the wide out selections of the past. Yes, some of them are quite haunting -- like the Mike Williams and Charles Rodgers selections -- but times have changed in Detroit and a wide receiver could change the entire outlook of offensive success for this franchise.

Imagine a guy like Sammy Watkins lining up across the field from Megatron. I bet teams would be scared to go up against a tall, strong wide out who can do it all and a quick, compact, speedy one who can burn you deep and make plays within 10 yards. Just a scary thought.

Let's take a look at the 10 wide receivers the Lions should target in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at connor.muldowney@rantsports.com.

2 of 11

Mike Evans, Texas A&M

evans
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Evans might not be the Lions' first WR option, but he is definitely in the top-three on their big board. He showed great speed at the combine and can be another tall, aggressive option for Matthew Stafford to throw the ball up to.

3 of 11

Marqise Lee, USC

lee
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Marqise Lee is probably the third-best wide receiver prospect in this year's draft -- and he's a good one. He was formerly projected as a top-five pick, but after a somewhat disappointing 2013 season, he is thought of as a top-20 pick. If the Lions want speed and playmaking abilities, Lee would be their guy.

4 of 11

Brandin Cooks, Oregon State

cooks
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Cooks might be a first round selection, but he could easily drop to their spot in the early-to-mid second round. If the Lions hooked Cooks, he would bring speed and big-play ability. He led the nation in receiving at Oregon State in 2013 and he could bring some athleticism to the Lions. His size would be the only issue.

5 of 11

Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt

matthews
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Many have the Lions selecting Jordan Matthews in the second round as either a complement to a receiver taken in the first round or to Calvin Johnson. Matthews has solid height at 6-foot-3 and he has great hands, catching 112 passes for 1,477 yards in his final season at Vanderbilt.

6 of 11

Allen Robinson, Penn State

robinson
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Allen Robinson was one of the most underrated wide outs in the nation in 2013. While speed might be a concern at the next level, running just a 4.60 time in the 40-yard dash, he can produce at a very high rate and could end up being a star in the NFL.

7 of 11

Shaquelle Evans, UCLA

evans
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Evans might be a mid-round choice if the Lions choose a wide out early and want to wait until the mid rounds to pick another. Evans was Hundley's favorite target for the past couple of seasons, but both performed very inconsistently. Evans has size and speed, but caught jus 47 passes in 2013 for 709 yards.

8 of 11

Jeremy Gallon, Michigan

gallon
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Gallon is the epitome of an undersized receiver with a slight chance of getting passed up in the 2014 NF Draft. The Michigan wide out braved poor passing in the past two seasons and still had great campaigns. He could be a slot receiver in the NFL, but his 5-foot-8 frame might scare the Lions away. He can threaten as a big-play type of guy, but the Lions want more of a sure thing. A late-round selection wouldn't hurt Detroit.

9 of 11

Martavis Bryant, Clemson

bryant
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Many people think Bryant should have stayed one more year at Clemson in order to ensure a higher draft selection, but he thinks he's ready and he will likely be a third round choice. At 6-foot-5, he would be a great addition to the wide receiving corps of the Lions, but he doesn't have the elite speed that they are looking for. Still, he could be a solid mid-round choice.

10 of 11

Davante Adams, Fresno State

adams
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Adams has been one of the most impressive receivers in this year's class. Adams caught 131 passes for 1,718 yards and 24 touchdowns in one of the nation's most prolific offenses. He can make plays and he has the strength and size to play aggressively against NFL opponents.

11 of 11

Sammy Watkins, Clemson

watkins
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions are hoping and praying that Sammy Watkins falls to No. 10 so they can scoop him up. It wouldn't surprise me if Detroit traded its 10th pick for a higher selection so they could snag the best receiver in the draft. Watkins is as fast as they come and he can make big plays on the flip of a dime. He would be the perfect complement to Megatron on the opposite side of the field. This would be a dream come true for Matthew Stafford and the Lions' offense.


Around the Web