Tate set to launch Lions' offense

Detroit's new WR offers versatile skill set suited for Stafford, Megatron

Updated: April 23, 2014, 10:55 AM ET
By Neil Hornsby | Pro Football Focus

TateTroy Taormina/USA TODAY SportsGolden Tate hauled in 64 receptions for 898 yards and five TDs with the Seahawks in 2013.

Rarely in free agency do you look at a move and immediately know it's an excellent signing. Often, the newly acquired player may be overrated, overpaid, a bad scheme fit or simply not much of an upgrade (and sometimes even a combination of all four).

However, absolutely none of those labels apply to the deal that saw Golden Tate go to the Lions in March. Whichever way you look at it, it appears only injury can stop Detroit from getting great value from Tate.

Here are four reasons why Tate appears poised for success with the Lions.

The Calvin Johnson factor

I wrote a piece of analysis recently in which I graded each receiving corps in 2013, based on production, on a five-point scale with 5 being the best. Even with a decent season from Calvin Johnson, I was still forced to give Detroit a 2. Theoretically, with Johnson drawing so much safety help, it should open things up for the Lions' other receivers. However, they played so poorly that despite Johnson's league-leading 2.72 yards per route run (YPRR), the team only ranked 13th in the league. The table below shows just how poor that number becomes when you remove Megatron from the mix.

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