NFL Draft 2013: Matthew Stafford hopes for another Lions receiver


Stafford wants another threat down the field to pair with the most lethal receiver in football.

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford wants another receiver at his disposal.

The former No. 1 overall pick out of Georgia is looking for a compliment to Calvin Johnson, who is widely regarded as the best wide receiver in the game. Stafford feels the team would be better if it had another player as a bookend to Johnson with a certain quality, according to

"With what we have on our roster right now, I'd say somebody that could stretch the field," Stafford said. "In the NFL, more and more today, everybody is looking for that. It doesn't matter if you're playing opposite of Calvin Johnson or not, you want somebody that can run. This is a game about speed."

Looking at the Lions from last year, it's easy to understand where Stafford is coming from on this issue. Beyond Johnson's incredible season with 1,964 yards, the next highest total from a Detroit wide receiver was Titus Young with 383 yards. Of course, Young is no longer on the team, released for being a malcontent.

Ryan Broyles had 310 yards, the third-highest amount from 2012 and the second-most for a holdover.

However, the passing game should be bolstered next year with the addition of running back Reggie Bush, who had 35 catches for 292 yards last year.

The good news for Stafford and the Lions is with the draft coming up on April 25, anything is possible. Earlier on Wednesday, Detroit wrapped up its visit with West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Tavon Austin. Austin is projected as a mid-first round choice, but the Lions have kicked the tires on him and have the No. 5 overall selection.

The Lions have also visited with other wide receivers rated at the top of the draft class including USC's Robert Woods and a pair of Tennessee receivers in Cordarelle Patterson and Justin Hunter. All, including Austin, are rated at or near the top of the WR rankings, and Hunter was recently called the most intriguing in the class.

If Stafford wants one of the prime receivers in the draft, the Lions will likely have to trade down or pick based on need if they grab Austin at No. 5. SB Nation's most recent mock has the West Virginia product taken at No. 9 by the Jets, and Dan Kadar compares him to Steelers wideout Antonio Brown.

As for Woods, Patterson or Hunter, one or more are likely to fall to the Lions in the next round. SB Nation's mock has Patterson as the only other wide receiver in the first round at No. 17 to the Pittsburgh Steelers. For now, the Lions are expected to address offensive line or cornerback in the first round.

If anything, the Lions are willing to listen to Stafford's request and do the work it takes to check out the best available options.

More from SB Nation:

Pats Pulpit: A Patriot for life

NFL mock draft: Trades shake up first round

The NFL draft's most overrated QBs

The best NFL draft picks of the century

Mark Sanchez "completely understands" QB competition

Draft hopefuls trash hotel room in blind item

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.