While the Detroit Lions are currently in search of their next head coach and general manager, the attention will soon need to turn to overhauling a roster that went a disappointing 5-11 in 2020.
With wideouts Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola all hitting free agency this offseason, some key decisions will need to be made.
Should Detroit decide to move on from all three or place the franchise tag on Golladay, the offense may need to add two or three wide receivers via the NFL Draft or free agency.
In the latest Pro Football Focus mock draft, Detroit addresses its need at wide receiver with pick No. 7 by selecting Alabama's Jaylen Waddle.
According to PFF, "Waddle missed most of the 2020 season due to a fractured ankle, but the Bama receiver was truly an explosive play waiting to happen in the four games he appeared in. He generated a Power 5-best 4.68 yards per route run, averaged 10.7 yards after the catch, teamed up for a perfect passer rating of 158.3 on his 29 targets, and hauled in 329 deep receiving yards. The latter still ranks 13th among all Power 5 receivers despite appearing just four times all year."
Waddle reportedly has top-flight speed, as he ran a 4.37 40-yard dash coming out of high school.
He has proven that he is a threat to take it to the end zone any time he gets the ball, with his speed and explosiveness.
The speedy wideout was cleared to practice last Tuesday, and has a strong opportunity to play in the College Football Playoff national championship game Monday night.
He has not played since Oct. 24, when he fractured his ankle against Tennessee and was forced to miss the last seven games.
“He has been able to practice, to some degree. I think the biggest challenge is can he stay in the game, and it’ll be a game-time decision, as to whether he thinks he can play and go out there and do his job well enough to contribute to the team. And we won’t know that until we get out there after pregame warm-up," Crimson Tide head man Nick Saban said.
Ohio State (7-0) will face off against Alabama (12-0) for the CFP national championship.
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