Jeremy Kerley must have known he wouldn’t be with the Detroit Lions much longer. The wide receiver did not participate in a single snap during Saturday’s dress rehearsal game, and he had been sliding down the Lions’ depth chart all offseason. According to a report from Adam Schefter, the Lions have decided to trade Kerley to the 49ers:
Lions traded WR Jeremy Kerley to San Francisco for OL Brandon Thomas, pending physicals for both players, per league source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 28, 2016
In return, the Lions received offensive lineman Brandon Thomas, a former third-round pick. Thomas was considered a high-profile prospect, but he tore his ACL in a workout just a month before the 2014 NFL Draft, plummeting his draft status. Since then, he has failed to crack the starting lineup in San Francisco. In fact, he’s spent almost his entire career on the inactive list on gamedays.
Thomas isn’t nailed down to one specific position on the offensive line, but he’s mostly considered a guard in the NFL. Here’s what Nolan Nawrocki of NFL.com had to say of Thomas coming out of college:
Strong-bodied, dependable gap blocker who played left tackle in college but will likely slide inside in the pros. Showed improvement as a senior and has the potential to be a long-term fixture at left guard. Ability to play tackle in a pinch adds to value.
Considering the string of injuries along the offensive line — Geoff Schwartz, Corey Robinson, Michael Ola — Thomas could get a chance to compete for a depth spot, especially given his extremely high upside. That being said, he’ll only have one week to really make an impression, so he’ll have to act fast.