If you have seen the Lions this season from day one, you know they do not have any upper echelon wide receivers on their roster. They need to sign Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ).
Detroit did nothing to replace wide receiver Kenny Golladay, except drafting a fifth-round wide receiver (Amon-Ra St. Brown) who is playing like a fifth-round wide receiver. I was never super high on Golladay to begin with, giving him a “B” grade last season as a writer for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions (click here to see article). However, replacing Golladay with St. Brown is like trading in a Corvette for a used minivan.
St. Brown is a complimentary third (slot) wide receiver on almost every team. I gave St. Brown a “D” for a grade prior to this season (click here to see the article).
If you ask me – – Detroit’s offensive struggles were as predictable as the sunrise before the season even began given these dynamics.
St. Browns’ stats (and league rankings per espn.com) are the stats of a low-round fringe draft pick: 27 receptions (t-67th), 250 yards (92nd), 0 touchdowns (t-123rd) and a 9.3 yards-per-catch average (111th).
Mix in quarterback Jared Goff, who’s confidence has been flickering like a candle in the wind (ever since the stretch drive for the Rams in 2020) and the recipe for the Lions’ 0-8 record is complete.
If Detroit’s management gives a damn about becoming respectable this season and if they give a damn about Goff, they will do whatever it takes to sign OBJ, who has been released by Cleveland.
The Browns have not disclosed the details surrounding OBJ’s release, but if it is not criminally related, the Lions need to go and get him. Ticket sales have declined as well in Detroit. OBJ can be the spark this organization needs now. This would give Goff someone to actually throw the ball to downfield.
OBJ has more talent in one pinky than all of Detroit’s receivers combined. Detroit has not had anything or anyone like OBJ since wide receiver, Calvin Johnson.
There is a reason why tight end T.J. Hockenson is the leading receiver on the Lions.
There is also a reason why running back D’Andre Swift is the second-leading receiver on this team.
It is because they do not have any legitimate wide receivers on this roster.
The Lions thought they could go out and get a bunch of fringe free agent types, and they would win.
However, that is not how the NFL works going up against more talented and athletically gifted defensive backs.
A receiver like OBJ would actually give Detroit a legitimate NFL wide receiver. He may not be ideal, but after the Lions did nothing to upgrade the position by the trade deadline, they need to make this move.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.