The Lions had a very high grade on WR Ryan Broyles, who some believe would have been a first round pick had it not been for the torn ACL that ended his record-breaking career with the Sooners early. Also, under offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, the Lions featured three-, four- or even five-receiver sets on nearly 75% of their offensive snaps a season ago so receivers are always needed. Finally, Broyles is a completely different style of wideout than Johnson, Burleson and Young and therefore should be in a position to succeed once he proves himself fully recovered from the injury.
The 5-10, 192 pound Broyles left Oklahoma having caught an NCAA-record 349 passes over his career. He's not as big or fast (even when healthy) as Johnson, Burleson or Young. Broyles, however, is further along as a route-runner than any of these three at similar points in their career. His game is built around his flexibility and burst out of his breaks as a short to intermediate route-runner. He also has terrific hands. Simply put, Broyles gains separation and catches the football, which is why some clubs graded him as the top slot receiver prospect in the 2012 draft.
And the injury? Broyles (and more importantly team sources) indicate that the rehabilitation is coming along well. Only five months after tearing the ligaments against Texas A&M, Broyles completed a full Pro Day workout that included running the 40-yard dash in a respectable 4.57 seconds. He participated in the team's recent OTA's and the Lions believe he has a shot at being back on the field full time for training camp.
Broyles is worth watching as he presses Nate Burleson and Titus Young for snaps. Broyles is a more natural slot receiver than either of those players, so he could work his way into a WR3 role rather quickly.