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Friday, June 1, 2012
KC Joyner: Calvin Johnson's coverage

By Kevin Seifert

We explained Friday why the Detroit Lions are so excited about their second-round draft pick, receiver Ryan Broyles. Most notably, the Lions believe he can be a productive slot receiver in their scheme. KC Joyner's analysis of NFL receivers Insider indirectly offers us another reason.

Johnson
You need an Insider subscription to read the entire file, which reviews how top receivers perform against upper-echelon cornerbacks. But what I can pass along: Among other things, Joyner found that Lions receiver Calvin Johnson drew top coverage in 2011 more frequently than all but one receiver league-wide.

On the surface, that fact shouldn't surprise you. Johnson was probably the best receiver in the game last season and produced historic numbers. But it also indicates why the Lions were in no way satisfied with the current composition of their receiver group.

Will Broyles routinely draw coverage away from Johnson? Unlikely. But would significant production in the middle of the field influence the way opponents approach Johnson on some plays? I think that's fair to say. Your thoughts?