The Detroit Lions are looking to make offensive strides this year. It's not enough that they invested heavily on the offensive side of the ball the past few seasons with Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew, Titus Young, Mikel Leshoure, and Jahvid Best. The NFC North has two other potential offensive powerhouses in the Aaron Rodger's led Green Bay Packers and the improved Chicago Bears, who unshackled themselves from the Mike Martz chains that limited Jay Cutler and their offense.
Thankfully for us fantasy peeps, no one in the division has an outstanding pass defense so the highest octane offense should win the division. The Lions realize the limitations that Nate Burleson, as an older wide receiver, brings to the table and decided to select Ryan Broyles who excelled in his college career at Oklahoma, but missed much of his senior season due to an ACL injury.
Ryan Broyles, WR, Detroit Lions
Height: 5' 10" Weight: 188 lbs College: Oklahoma
Scouting Report- Broyles was a special athlete before he had his ACL injury in the fall. I re-watched his games against Texas, Kansas State, and U Conn. Broyles has amazing hands, catches the ball at its highest point, uses the sidelines well, and is a terror in the open field with the ball in his hands. He sits down in the zone, runs crisp routes, and has fantastic body control.
Broyles tends to play bigger than he is as he doesn't shy away from contact and sometimes somersaults his way forward which can cause him to take unnecessary hits. He seems to like the physical style of play that reminds me of Carolina Steve Smith; this may bring him more attention from the defensive backs.
2012 Analysis- The Lions are looking to ease Broyles on the field in 2012. I would expect to see him coming in for Nate Burleson a few series a game and some four wide or five receiver formations. Detroit should see plenty of passing opportunities against their high-powered foes. Broyles is more suited for an outside receiver spot than Titus Young, but may line up in the slot in certain situations.
If the Lions receivers stay healthy throughout the year, I expect Broyles to catch between 35-40 passes for 400-480 yards and account for 3-4 receiving touchdowns in 2012. In 2013 and beyond, look for Broyles to start on the outside opposite Calvin Johnson and double those numbers.
Compares to: a cross between Jeremy Maclin and Carolina's Steve Smith