Expectations for Quintez Cephus' Rookie Season

What can Lions expect from their fifth round draft pick his rookie season?

In the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions selected wide receiver Quintez Cephus out of Wisconsin. 

Wideout may not have been an immediate need of the Lions, as their top four receivers from a year ago -- Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola and Marvin Hall -- all are returning this upcoming season. 

As far as beyond 2020, that’s where the position group gets dicey. 

None of the four aforementioned players are currently under contract after this year. 

So, although wide receiver wasn’t a dire need at this point in time, it was very much a need for the long-term future.

Considering Detroit general manager Bob Quinn only kept four receivers on the 53-man roster for the majority of the 2019 season, it will put Cephus in an interesting situation. 

In all likelihood, for Cephus to even make the roster, he will either have to beat out the deep threat in Hall, or the Lions will have to keep five players in the receivers room moving forward. 

Not to mention, Cephus will be battling Geronimo Allison, Chris Lacy and Travis Fulgham, among others, in training camp for a final roster spot.

Although it appears rather unlikely at this time, Cephus’ spot on the team isn’t guaranteed by any means.

Not that fifth-round picks are selected to be immediate impact type of players, but Cephus will be buried on the depth chart his rookie season. 

It’s common knowledge that the Wisconsin product didn’t wow anybody at the combine. He ran a 4.73 40-yard dash, and followed it up by running an official 4.62 at his Pro Day. 

Outside of his lack of speed, he did demonstrate some explosiveness. 

On the football field, he does just about everything well -- whether it be catching contested catches, difficult grabs over the middle, beating press coverage or blocking. 

Cephus lined up mostly on the outside while in college, but is versatile enough to play in the slot as well -- which greatly increases his overall value.

As far as rookie-year expectations, they should be very modest, unless injuries force Cephus onto the field more than anticipated. 

Going by previous rookie wideout statistics, there were two receivers selected in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and both had solid rookie outputs.

New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton put up 740 receiving yards, while Las Vegas Raider fifth-rounder Hunter Renfrow accumulated 605 yards.

Slayton and Renfrow saw ample playing time throughout the season. Unfortunately, those outputs seem to be more of an anomaly than the norm.

That’s not to say Cephus can’t contribute right away. But, it will be difficult if he can’t get onto the field due to the players ahead of him.


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