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Lions' Dan Campbell 'buying stock' in WR Josh Reynolds: 'I call him the praying mantis'

The Lions' depth chart at wide receiver has a cut-and-dry top three with Amon-Ra St. Brown, free-agent acquisition D.J. Chark and No. 12 overall pick Jameson Williams once his ACL fully recovers, but that hasn't stopped head coach Dan Campbell from being bullish on wideout Josh Reynolds.

"I like this guy, I'm kind of buying stock on him," Campbell told reporters on Saturday. "I think he could have a big year. He's a smooth athlete and he's a grinder, he's smart and Jared (Goff) trusts him. And so I can't say enough about that room in general, and he's a big piece of that."

Reynolds joined the Lions midway through 2021 after the Tennessee Titans released him. He amassed 19 receptions for 306 yards and two touchdowns in seven games with the team.

Beyond Reynolds' late-season contributions, his rapport with Goff thanks to four years spent together in Los Angeles was likely a major factor in the team bringing him back on a two-year deal.

Reynolds had to slowly carve out a supporting role behind Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods as a Rams fourth-round pick, but when called upon he displayed sure hands and a knack for finding holes in opposing defenses.

Goff connected with him for 113 receptions, 1,450 yards and nine touchdowns during their time together on the West Coast.

Now with half of a season under his belt in the Midwest, Reynolds is well on his way to finding yet another supplementary role, earning descriptors like "smooth" and "grinder" from his head coach.

Of course, a personality like Campbell can't stop there when enamored with the development of one of his players.

"I'll tell you what, he's different now," Campbell said, continuing to describe Reynolds. "He's a different athlete. He's slippery, man. I call him the praying mantis. He's a spider of death. He's just -- there's something about him. Freaking serpent. So, I love where he's at right now. I really do, I'm glad we got him."

Mantis, spider, serpent -- whatever his spirit animal -- Reynolds rounds out a WR corps that is capable of supporting Goff in a vital year for both the quarterback and the team.

Detroit had a gritty squad last year, going 3-13-1 but losing six games by just one possession. If a few bounces go their way, the 2022 Lions having pieces like Reynolds makes them capable of turning heads -- which is better than what mantises are known to do with them.

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