The Lions’ top two receivers are Marvin Jones Jr. and Golden Tate. Their third figures to be rookie Kenny Golladay, despite speculation from others outside Detroit.
After that, threre’s plenty up for grabs at receiver, with veteran Jared Abbrederis in the mix.
That’s a name to remember, according to ESPN, which on Thursday picked one “under-the-radar” player from OTAs and training camps from each NFL team.
For the Lions, it’s Abbrederis, who has impressed so far this offseason, after he was added to the roster in January.
“While the starters are set with Marvin Jones and Golden Tate, there is room for reps down the depth chart at receiver,” wrote Michael Rothstein of NFL Nation. “It’s a tight competition among a bunch of guys, including TJ Jones, Jace Billingsley and Ryan Spadola. But the guy to watch here might be Abbrederis, a former Packers receiver. He made big plays on deep balls throughout OTAs, including a sliding touchdown catch where he beat two defenders, and will get a shot as a returner. If he’s able to continue the trajectory through camp, he has a real shot to make Detroit’s roster.”
Also on ESPN’s list is Denver Broncos rookie tight end Jake Butt, a former Michigan standout, and Carolina Panthers rookie offensive lineman Taylor Moton of Western Michigan.
Butt was selected by the Broncos in the fifth round, slipping in the draft following a torn ACL suffered in the Orange Bowl against Florida State.
“He will almost certainly open training camp in July on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, so he won’t get much attention in the preseason,” Jeff Legwold of NFL Nation wrote. “But when he is eventually medically cleared, it won’t take long for him to find his way into the lineup. This is a player the Broncos have plans for and they’ll be careful in his return, but be ready to see him become more of a factor as the regular season rolls along.”
The 6-foot-5, 325-pound Moton was the Panthers’ second-round draft pick in the draft.
“While it’s too early to tell if Moton ... will seriously compete for the right tackle spot until they put the pads on, he has shown mentally that he can handle the job,” writes David Newton of NFL Nation. “He also has shown the versatility to play on the left side at tackle as well as shift over to guard. For a line that suffered from a lack of depth last season when injuries became catastrophic, Moton has a chance to provide relief at multiple positions and possibly start if Michael Oher doesn’t return from the concussion protocol.”