Deep-Threat Receivers in NFL Draft for Lions
The Lions have their top-three wideouts pretty much set in stone for the upcoming season.
All set to be free agents in 2021, returning starters Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola have clearly defined roles.
Detroit will need to have a couple of developmental types for the future.
Given that offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell likes to push the ball downfield, it doesn't hurt to have players that excel going deep.
Obviously, speed is usually the name of the game when catching bombs.
However, there are different ways to win.
Look no further than Golladay and Jones. Neither are burners, yet both can be considered a deep threat due to their body control.
Let's take a look at a few late-round draft prospects that know how to come down with the deep ball.
As with any Day 3 prospect, no player is going to be perfect.
Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF
Weight: 216 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.54 seconds
In 2019, Davis was tied for the fourth-most deep pass catches in the FBS and the fourth-most yards from the deep ball.
Davis accumulated 16 receptions of over 20 yards with 620 yards coming off those deep targets.
With decent size, he can win downfield with body control and great tracking ability -- more in the mold of Marvin Jones.
Per Pro Football Focus, Davis earned a deep-ball grade of 91.6 last season.
Outside of running the fade, Davis has a ton of work to do with his route tree.
Isaiah Coulter, WR, Rhode Island
Weight: 198 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.45 seconds
The junior wide receiver has a nice size/speed profile.
Obviously, playing at a smaller school will help boost stats, but it's still impressive he still came down with 14 deep balls in 2019.
Despite playing against FCS competition, he needs to be better attacking the football and not just letting the ball come to him.
Running a 40-yard dash in the 84th-percentile is a huge plus.
But it's important to note that his agility is on the other end of the spectrum, as shown by his 4.62 20-yard shuttle time (in the second-percentile).
Quez Watkins, WR, Southern Miss
Weight: 185 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.35 seconds
Watkins has some serious straight-line speed.
Oddly enough, his agility drills were pretty poor at the combine.
He had 13 receptions last year on deep passes -- 17th-most in the nation.
With his smaller frame, he can struggle to get off the line at times, but still does a decent job winning 50/50 balls.
At this point, Watkins appears to be a one-trick pony -- albeit a pretty cool one-trick pony.
Any time a player runs a 4.35 40-yard dash, opposing defenses take notice.
Omar Bayless, WR, Arkansas State
Weight: 212 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.62 seconds
Bayless' combine numbers were a bit disappointing -- yet, the film matches his performance.
He put up the second-most yards (1,653 yards) in Division I FBS play last season, and was considered elite while in college.
With all those yards, he definitely has a knack for the nuances of the game.
He is a great route-runner, and bates corners into double moves very well.
Unfortunately, the lower level of competition may have skewed his gaudy numbers.