TE Richard Dickson (LSU) - Undrafted Free Agent
The Lions have no shortage of depth at the tight end position, especially now that Tony Scheffler is a member of the team. The three-team deal that brought Scheffler back to his home state gave the Lions another starting-caliber tight end, joining Brandon Pettigrew and Will Heller. Before the Scheffler trade the Lions were actively scouting tight ends for this year's draft, but the move allowed them to worry about other needs and simply bring in an undrafted free agent, which is what they did with Richard Dickson.
Consistent and very good work ethic. An overachiever. Shows versatility and puts team ahead of self. Earned SEC Academic Honor Roll honors in 2008. Dad played college football at Mississippi State and grandfather played at Ole Miss.
Positives: Hard-working college tight end with limited athleticism and upside for the next level. Gives effort blocking, bends his knees, and plays with leverage. Solid short range target who effectively adjusts to the errant throw and looks the pass into his hands. Displays natural receiving skills and reliable hands. Works to make himself an available target for the quarterback.
Negatives: Possesses just a short area burst of speed and does not have the ability to get downfield on a consistent basis. Marginal strength at the point of attack and struggles to finish blocks.
Dickson has a chance to develop into an H-Back type at the next level, with his combination of quickness and soft hands. While he was limited in an inconsistent offense in 2009, he could get a training camp invite.
If Dickson wasn’t only 6-2 240 pounds he would be higher on the list, because he does everything well for a tight end, he is a good blocker and a good receiver who had 31 catches for 324 yards and 4 touchdowns last season. Despite his size he has shown the ability to block defensive linemen and can get down the field as a receiver. He isn’t a blazer, but has good enough speed for a tight end, and might end up moving to an H-Back position or FB at the next level.
2006: 6 receptions, 96 yards, 0 TD
2007: 32 receptions, 375 yards, 5 TD
2008: 31 receptions, 324 yards, 4 TD
2009: 21 receptions, 157 yards, 0 TD
Couldn't find any.
Outlook for 2010
UDFAs at positions without great depth have an outside chance of making the team, but tight end is not one of those positions. Pettigrew, Scheffler, and Heller can pretty much be penciled in right now as locks to make the team. It's certainly possible the Lions could take a fourth tight end, but even if that were to happen, you have to believe Dan Gronkowski would have the inside track. Also, the Lions just signed John Madsen, so the chances of Dickson being anything more than a practice squad player are very slim unless one of the top three TEs goes down with an injury.