Lions Named Potential Landing Spot for Former 2nd Round WR

The Detroit Lions signed a pair of undrafted wide receivers following the 2024 NFL draft to try and overcome the fact they didn’t select a wideout in the draft. But the Lions may still want to add depth to the position this summer. For that reason, Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon connected the Lions to free agent receiver Tyler Boyd.

On April 28, Kenyon named the Lions one of two potential landing spots for Boyd.

“Any legitimate playoff hopeful with a bit of cap space—and one that didn’t use an early-round pick on a wideout—should be calling Boyd,” wrote Kenyon.

“Based on that particular combination, the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles stand out as sensible candidates.”

This isn’t the first time this offseason that Detroit has been mentioned as a possible destination for Boyd. The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly officially linked the Lions to Boyd on April 2.

“Boyd has at least had preliminary interest from the Chiefs, Chargers, Dolphins, Lions and 49ers,” wrote Kaboly.

In 17 games during the 2023 season, Boyd posted 67 catches for 667 receiving yards with 2 touchdowns.

Why WR Tyler Boyd Could Fit With the Lions

The Lions didn’t select a wide receiver in the NFL draft despite losing veteran Josh Reynolds to the Denver Broncos in free agency. Reynolds was second among Lions receivers in all statistical categories last season with 40 catches, 608 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Boyd is one of the better available free agents who could fill a No. 2 receiver role in 2024.

In 2018 and 2019, Boyd posted a pair of 1,000-yard seasons. He also had 79 catches and 841 yards during quarterback Joe Burrow’s rookie campaign in 2020.

Boyd has seen his targets reduced the past three seasons with the emergence of Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. But Boyd doesn’t turn 30 until November, so on a short-term deal, he could provide worthwhile production for a contender.

Pro Football Network’s Adam Caplan wrote on April 25 that earlier this offseason Boyd was seeking at least a $9 million average annual salary on his next contract.

If the Lions signed Boyd, there would be less pressure on third-year receiver Jameson Williams needing to emerge as a reliable starter in 2024. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kalif Raymond and Donovan Peoples-Jones are Detroit’s other top four receivers currently on the roster.

After the conclusion of the draft on April 27, the Lions added wideouts Jalen Calhoun and Isaiah Williams as undrafted free agents.

Why Boyd Might Not be the Best Fit for Detroit

Adding Boyd’s production to the roster would be nice for the Lions. But his style of play may not be the ideal fit in Detroit.

Boyd lined up in the slot for more than 80% of his receiver snaps during 2023 according to PFF. But in Reynolds, the Lions are trying to replace a wideout who only played roughly 35% of his receiver snaps in the slot last year.

Both St. Brown and Raymond excel in the slot. So, the Lions would probably prefer to add a receiver who predominantly plays outside.

Boyd hasn’t played at least 200 snaps at outside receiver since 2019. Part of the reason why is because of the arrival of Higgins and Chase with the Cincinnati Bengals. But even during seasons when Boyd lined up more outside, he still played more than 50% of his snaps in the slot.

Other veteran free agent receivers such as DJ Chark, Michael Thomas and Odell Beckham Jr. could be better schematic fits for the Lions than Boyd.

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