Feb. 12, 2016
Top 5 Replacement Choices if Calvin Johnson Retires
With all the controversy surrounding the pending decision of Calvin Johnson’s retirement, the Lions will be without a No. 1 wide receiver and will need to replace him, whether that’s from within the organization, through free agency or the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft is yet to be determined. Below are my top 5 scenarios to replace Calvin Johnson.
5. From within, the Lions could use a platoon of Corey Fuller, TJ Jones and Lance Moore. This scenario of course would mean that Detroit would have to resign Moore to a deal, whether it is one-year or multi-year deal, it would have to be done. Last season the trio combined for 43 receptions for 545 yards with 5 touchdowns. While these numbers are not huge by any means, each of the three wide outs had a yard per reception of over 11. It is possible that the three could be used in a revolving door type manner on the outside. However; I feel that this is a last resort option for Detroit; I do not feel that the three could combine to have number similar to those of Johnson.
4. Draft Ohio State wide out Michael Thomas. Over the course of the 2015 season, Thomas hauled in 58 receptions for 781 yards and 9 touchdowns, averaging 13.9 yards per reception. I see Thomas as an 80 reception 1,000+ yards guy in the NFL. He is widely thought of as the second best wide receiver in the 2016 draft. IF he falls and is available in the second round, it would make sense for the Lions to use their pick on him.
3. Sign free agent Anquan Boldin. Boldin is a 13 year veteran of the league and could potentially be a nice fit in Detroit alongside Golden Tate. Boldin would add a veteran presence to the Lions locker room, which in my opinion would be a great thing. In 2015 Boldin tallied up 789 yards for the San Francisco 49ers during their horrific 5-11 season. In his career Boldin has haled in 80 or more receptions and tallied 1,000+ yards 7 times. I would not be surprised to see the Lions enter negotiations with the veteran.
2. Draft Laquon Treadwell out of Ole Miss. While highly unlikely to happen, it would be a great fit for Detroit. Treadwell is widely regarded as the number one wide receiver in the NFL Draft going to the New York Giants with the number 10 pick. However, and this is a major IF (but it has happened in the past), IF Treadwell were to fall down in the first round and were available at number 16 I would like to see the Lions draft him, rather than an O-Lineman or D-Lineman. Treadwell brought in 82 receptions for 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns this season with Ole Miss. He would easily step into the role of the No. 1 receiver in Detroit.
1. Sign free agent Alshon Jeffery. While this also seems like a long shot – due to the fact that Chicago could Franchise Tag him or sign him to an extension before he reaches free agency, Jeffery would be a terrific fit in Detroit. Jeffery is hitting his prime, over the last four seasons he has tallied 252 catches for 3,728 yards and 24 touchdowns. The wide out was limited in 2015 due to injuries, however in 9 games brought in 54 receptions for 807 yards and 4 touchdowns. While it is unlikely that Jeffery will be on the market, if he does become available, the Lions will likely pursue him due to the fact that he is the closest they could come to Calvin Johnson in regards to a deep, game-changing threat.