Earlier on Tuesday, we looked at four potential free agent options for the Detroit Lions to fill the void left by Taylor Decker’s sudden shoulder injury. One name that was not on that list was former Buffalo Bills second-round pick Cyrus Kouandjio. Kouandjio tweeted late on Tuesday night that he is coming to Detroit for a visit:
✈️ to Detroit for a visit. On my best behavior— Cyrus Kouandjio (@ckouandjio) June 7, 2017
Though he doesn’t explicitly say he’s coming for a visit with the Detroit Lions, the Lions emojis are a pretty good sign that the team is interested in him.
Kouandjio’s time with the Bills was, to put it nicely, a big disappointment. The 44th overall pick in the 2014 draft managed to only start seven total games with the Bills throughout his three-year career in Buffalo. He initially tried out as the team’s starting right tackle, but couldn’t win the job in his rookie year and was instead moved to the left side as a backup. He would eventually fill-in for the Bills as a backup in seven starts, five of which came in the 2016 season.
Kouandjio was considered one of the best tackle prospects when he came out of Alabama in 2014, but pre-draft medical testing revealed arthritis in his knee:
Bad news for #Bama OT Cyrus Kouandjio. I’m told several teams have failed him on his physical. Arthritic knee from failed surgery. “Ugly.”— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 22, 2014
While Kouandjio hasn’t dealt with any serious knee issues in the NFL, he has faced a few injuries. He battled an ankle injury last season and suffered a hip injury at home in January, resulting in surgery. According to the Bills, Kouandjio was expected to be ready by training camp this year, but the team released him a couple weeks ago.
Kouandjio was also recently involved in a very bizarre incident back in April. The Buffalo News explains:
Kouandjio was found in a T-shirt without pants, but wearing underwear, wandering in a field after climbing over an electric fence, authorities said. When an Erie County Sheriff's deputy went to detain him, a police source said that the 6-foot-7, 322-pound Kouandjio yelled, "Shoot me!"
Presuming Kouandjio passes a physical with the Lions and the team likes what they see in him, he could jump in and immediately contend for the starting left tackle job. In his limited role with the Bills last year, Kouandjio played in 406 snaps and graded out as the 34th-best offensive tackle, according to Pro Football Focus.
Considering the Lions’ current options at left tackle, Kouandjio would have a real chance to crack the starting lineup. Detroit’s best current options include Joe Dahl, a fifth-round pick who was transitioning to a guard before Decker’s injury, Cornelius Lucas, a former undrafted player that has had major consistency issues, and Corey Robinson, a former seventh rounder that is still rehabbing from foot surgery.
And at just 23 years old, Kouandjio could still have a lot of play left in him.