Lions need a better route running WR

This draft has some great route running WR’s. If the lions trade down and stock pile some picks I’m hoping we can use one of those picks to get a WR that can run a route like this.

I mean, that route wasn’t anything special… I feel it was more or less he had the IQ to know he had multiple options there based on what the coverage does. Either continue the crossing pattern or break to the flag to expose the coverage. He picked wisely based on what the defense gave them.

Not saying he’s not a great route runner or anything, I think he’s pretty solid, but this example wasn’t really anything eye opening to me. Pretty good route though none the less, people do mess it up lol.

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Lets not forget, Adam’s didn’t do much until his 3rd yr in the league and didn’t break 1000 yards until last year (5).

Fact is that the Lions do not have a WR that can run a route like that. You may think that’s easy but it’s not. I played safety and WR’s that can cut like that are a handful to cover. Adams is quickly developing into a great route runner.

I honestly feel the Lions WR Corp lacks a solid route runner. Those guys can get separation and move the chains. By the way Rogers didn’t throw the greatest pass there either.

But why ???

In 2014 he was the teams #4 WR. So he didn’t get many targets.

In 2015 he moved to the teams #3 spot and then missed 3 games due to an ankle injury.

In 2016 He moved to the #2 spot and missed two games due to a concussion but still put up 997 yrds. He also had yards in the post season so he finished the year over 1000 yrds.

In 2017 He lost his QB Rogers (week 6) for a large part of the season but still had 885 yards and made the probowl.

In 2018 he made the probowl again and put up 1300 plus yards while fighting through a few nagging injuries.

He’s was a second round pick and took a little time to develop into the probowler he is today.

The kids pretty darn good.

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I don’t know, maybe because I was a WR/CB it doesn’t seem that special to me and I would expect pro athletes to be able to run that. That particular route I could easily see Amendola, Galloday, or Jones making. shrug

We all know Adams is very good and has gotten better each year with his techniques, which is kudos to him. He’s gained respect from the league so he’s definitely doing something right.

To go with your point though, getting another explosive WR definitely wouldn’t hurt! With what we need to rebuild on this team though we need to get lucky and find another Galloday value in the draft and not spend a high pick or high $$ in FA.

The Lions definitely need a WR who can separate. I’ve felt for a while that their WRs are unbalanced this way. I love them, but they both are 50/50 guys who come down with it. Not guys who get open on 3rd down consistently when you have to have it.

I think your really underplaying how quickly Adams changes direction here and how well he sells the route to create separation.

Amendola you could argue (maybe) but Jones and Galloday can’t run routes like this. Those two rarely create separation by their route running it’s not their forte. They are both very good at winning contested balls. That’s what they are good at and that’s their strength. I’ll challenge you to find a tape of Jones or Galloday running a route like that. I’ve never seen one.

I firmly believe the Lions need a WR with route running ability like this. GB has been smart to target WR’s with exceptional route running skills.

Not explosive … Tate was explosive. I’d even argue Amendola sorta is. I’m not talking about speed or explosiveness. I’m talking about route running.

Read this. Here’s a quote from it to.

learning which foot to plant with on inside and outside cuts, and keeping one’s shoulders over the knees in order to stay balanced and give off the illusion of running a vertical route for as long as possible. These are the types of things that go unnoticed to the casual fan watching on TV, but serve as the building blocks for every receiver.”

The GB Packers and NE Patriots have always targeted WR’s that create separation off thier route running abilities. This is a crucial trait needed on 3rd downs. The Lions WR’s lack this.

Watch guys like Anquan Boldin, Stephan Diggs, Antonio Brown, Jordy Nelson, Wes Walker, Doug Baldwin, Deandre Hopkins, Keenan Allen and OBJ. Watch closely how they create separation by how they run their route tree.

The Lions do not have any WR’s that can consistently beat man coverage. It is a big need. Amendola works underneath well, but can’t be counted on durability wise. I wish they were in position to go after someone like Jeudy, but they aren’t.


Thanks JR I am glad someone understands my point.

It’s a deep WR class and these types can often Be found in rounds 2 and later. We could find one if BQ made it a priority.

Stefan Diggs was a 5th round pick.
Wes Welker went undrafted
Antonio Brown was a 6th rounder.

I am hopeful that by the time the draft rolls around that WR is high on his list. I like WR Johnson out of Minnesota as a nice outside fit, but going after a real speed guy is also an asset. When I see a strong position group like WR this year, I always prefer to get two!

Just read an article comparing Chase Claypool to Allen Lazard. You know, Lazard was a 2 time 1st team Big12 WR and went undrafted. If Aaron Rogers hadn’t demanded that the Pack keep him after he came in for a look see, he still wouldn’t be on an NFL roster. We lost to GB twice, in those games he had a total of 8 receptions for 134 yards and 2 TD’s. Claypool is better at yac and is faster but the thing that both share is the ability to get separation.

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Do you have any WRs in this draft you are fond of? WR that should be available after round 2.

Didn’t realize they got much separation, both of those guys are big. I thought they were more Golladay types.

Yep, better equipped to take the hits and can create space.

Apparently we have a difference of opinion because to me being “explosive” is a required part of great route running. The ability to change direction on a dime and quickly accelerate to top speed is pretty critical to be effective in the NFL. Since you brought him up, Tate to me is a great route runner and that’s because he’s explosive and creates separation with his routes. He can put that foot in the ground and change direction within the blink of an eye. He also effectively uses body language to fool defenders.

With a very quick check to Youtube I found this, nothing crazy ( The first play shown is the focus here because it is fairly similar to Adams’s play that was linked. They both sold the crossing route with body language and exploded another direction, leaving the defender in the dust although Galloday went more vertical. The sell job is key and they both did it successfully to create separation.

Not trying to compare the two WRs and say one is better than the other, but as you can see Galloday is capable of running similar routes with effectiveness too. How consistently? That’s another story.

Never know, the Matt Millen gremlin might still be lurking around the basement at the Allen Park facility. :slight_smile:

I do … not all are great route runners but there’s gonna be a lot of talent available.

Devin Duvernay - He is my Golden Tate replacement. Probably best suited as a slot WR but like Tate he can play outside and under coverage. He’s great after the catch and has a knack for sitting down in the soft spots of zone coverage. His route running needs some work but he has the physical traits to be a Golden Tate type of WR.

KJ Hill - Another Slot WR type. This kid has great hands and runs nice routes. However he doesn’t have top speed. Probably a 4.5 40 guy. What he runs at the combine will tell us a lot but I like him as a slot guy. Kid will probably be available in round 3. But if he runs a fast 40 (I doubt it) then maybe not.

Laviska Shenault - Some project this kid as a late first to mid second rounder but in a deep class he could make it to our 3rd. Ive seen some mocks projecting him as high as round one but that’s a reach. I bet he goes late round two or early round 3. He’s a versatile player. He’s really good at the quick hitters and Jet sweep type plays but not a complete WR. Has the skills to be a high level starter but needs to clean up his game. A great combine and he could go earlier than I expect but this is a deep class. Some of these second round types will drop to round 3.

Justin Jefferson - Here’s the guy I really like. Solid route runner and in any other draft this kid would be a second round lock. But in a deep class he could make it to us. I really like this kid. Fingers crossed!

Michael Pittman Jr. - A Kenny Golladay type of WR. A lot like KG to be honest. Not a great route runner but hey I like Golladay so why not two? Like KG he could drop to round 3.

DaVonta Smith - I really like the kid and he is overshadowed by his first round teammates Jeudy and Ruggs. But he’s a solid WR and a pretty good route runner. A lot to like with this kid. He probably will go round 2 but one can hope he makes it to 3. This class is just too deep for all these quality WR’s to be drafted where they should. There’s going to be a bargain for us in round 3. Maybe it’s Smith.

There’s more I like but the combine will tells us more and as more players declare we will get a better idea of who goes where. I can’t say this enough but there’s at least 12 plus WR’s that have 2nd round or higher grades on them. They can’t all go that high.

Yeah we’re going to greatly disagree here.

But I’ll support my stance with a little more evidence.

  1. Speed and great route running aren’t the same thing. There are great route runners that aren’t very fast. For example Larry Fitzgerald ran a 4.63 forty and he’s even slower now but he’s still a solid route runner.

See example:

  1. The play you linked is nothing like the route Adams ran. All Golladay did there was get behind the defender. That was a very basic route that even a TE can run. Golladay has skills he’s very good at. Route running isn’t one of them.

One more example of speed does not equal route running ability. Marquez Comston was known as a good route runner. He ran a 4.5 forty. Here’s an article on him. Read this and maybe it will help you. See the quote below to prove my point on speed.

“First and foremost, the common misconception is that your 40 time correlates to your ability to run routes. That’s not true,” Colston said.