The 2018 NFL Draft is in the rear view and the team has lined up their crop of undrafted free agents to bring to camp. There were some surprises in the draft, and that continued into the players that are being brought in as well. It’s a pretty sizable bunch, so we’re going to dive in and give you the Relative Athletic Scores of each, with a little bit of analysis of their chances to make the roster.
Michael Ford, CB, Southeast Missouri
Michael Ford is one of the UDFAs the Lions coveted the most, as evidenced by the hefty sum they paid him to come here. Athletically, it’s not hard to see why. Gone are the days of Martin Mayhew pulling in guys who were just like he was (small and slow). Ford is a very raw, but productive prospect who converted to corner from receiver.
Kyle Lewis, WR, Cal Poly
Kyle Lewis is a slot receiver with fantastic athletic upside. With the Lions needing a long term option at slot with Golden Tate’s contract looming, a guy like Kyle Lewis makes a lot of sense. He’s a very thickly built player with great explosion and speed.
Brandon Powell, WR, Florida
Though his measurables aren’t great, Powell is another YAC type of slot receiver. He has a very tough road to a roster spot at the Lions’ deepest position, but with excellent movement skills he could position himself well.
DeAndre Goolsby, TE, Florida
Goolsby is an interesting option since he’s more of an H-back and receiving type than a blocker. His frame is going to need some filling out, so he’s more likely a practice squad candidate than a threat to make the roster, but he’s an interesting receiving option nonetheless.
Brett Kendrick, OT, Tennessee
A versatile player who can play multiple positions on the line, Kendrick played at both tackle spots and at guard. Athletically, there’s not much to get excited over, but bringing in a player who can provide depth along your line is never a bad idea.
Beau Nunn, OG, Appalachian State
Nunn graded out fantastically for his athletic profile and generated interest from the Lions (obviously), Patriots, and Titans. With Bob Quinn and Titans GM Jon Robinson coming from the Patriots tree, it’s not shocking that this is the type of player that fits in that versatile mold they’re known for.
Michael Hill, DT, Ohio State
While he mainly played as a one-gap player at OSU, Hill has a typical nose tackle athletic profile and that is normally the type of lineman Matt Patricia has prized on his interior.
JoJo Wicker, DE, Arizona State
Wicker’s athletic profile isn’t good at end, but he’ll probably shift inside for the Lions (3.83 RAS for DT) and play the same type of role the team envisions for 4th round pick Da’Shawn Hand. That means a lot of 3-Technique and possible big end during heavy sets.
Al-Rasheed Benton, LB, West Virginia
A two-down thumper, Benton doesn’t have the athletic traits you prefer from a starting linebacker in the NFL which is likely a big part of why he wasn’t drafted. He’s likely a special teams project who will get most of his work with Joe Marciano.
Chris Jones, CB, Nebraska
Jones is coming off a meniscus injury in his knee, which should be considered when looking at his measurables since it was a four-to-six month thing and he probably didn’t have as much time to prepare as many others. Still, Jones was well thought of prior to his injury and is a player to watch if he can return to form.
Amari Coleman, CB, Central Michigan
Coleman is an undersized, but explosive cover corner that will get looks as a nickel during camp. Like most late-round pick/UDFA guys his size, he’ll likely be a year or two out from making the roster since he’ll be expected to bulk up to make NFL quality tackles.
Anthony Sherrils, FS, Missouri
With a good athletic profile, decent size and excellent speed, Sherrils is a rangy cover safety with a lot of starter traits if given time to develop. Sherrils was favored by several of the scouts at Inside the Pylon, citing great discipline and speed, and have a great film breakdown on him here.
Ryan Santoso, P, Minnesota
While we did start to track punters, kickers, and long snappers for RAS in 2018, most specialists don’t measure and the database isn’t large yet anyway so there’s nothing to say athletically. Santoso is this year’s camp leg, barring any surprise injuries again.
Josh Fatu, DT, Southern California
Another interior lineman with a typical nose tackle athletic profile, Fatu is known for being powerful and explosive at the point of attack, but can struggle to get off blocks and is likely not going to be playing the 3-technique or outward.
Teo Redding, WR, Bowling Green
With a great athletic profile, Redding may surprise with the WR unit, but is likely looking at more of a special teams role to start his career just like any of the other receivers here.
John Montelus, OG, Virginia
Montelus did not measure due to a hip injury, and it’s unknown just when he’ll be ready for NFL work. He can always build the Lions some computers in the mean time, and it’s likely his intelligence that first endeared Matt Patricia to the Virginia product.
Anwuan Davis, CB, Texas
With the rising importance of the nickelback position in the NFL, it’s not shocking that the team is looking to the college ranks at players who thrived there. With an astounding 28 bench reps, Davis has quite a bit of strength to his game and with the Lions looking to shed a soft image, that’s the type of player you want to be around.
Chad Meredith, LB, Southeast Missouri
As much a stand up edge rusher as a linebacker, Meredith posted a fantastic athletic profile at his pro day including the oft-treasured sub 7.00 3-cone. Meredith plays with solid instincts and some very impressive closing speed. He may ultimately find a home on the edge in Detroit’s defense, and if he can get up to NFL speed mentally, he may end up being the best pickup in this UDFA class.