As the Detroit Lions prepare to begin their rookie minicamp on Friday, the team announced the signing of 13 undrafted rookies. Here’s a look at the team’s official UDFA class:
TE Nate Becker — Miami (OH)
G Beau Benzschawel — Wisconsin
LB Malik Carney - North Carolina
WR Jonathan Duhart - Old Dominion
LB Tre Lamar - Clemson
S C.J. Moore - Mississippi
T Matt Nelson - Iowa
TE Donald Parham - Stetson
LB Anthony Pittman - Wayne State
T Ryan Pope - San Diego State
DT Ray Smith - Boston College
G Micah St. Andrew - Fresno State
DT Kevin Strong - Texas San-Antonio
The UDFA class is headlined by two offensive linemen: offensive tackle Ryan Pope and guard Beau Benzschawel. The Lions reportedly gave Pope $145,000 guaranteed, an extremely high amount for a UDFA, indicating he was in high demand after the draft was over. Likewise, Benzschawel reportedly received over 20 offers from NFL teams, but ultimately chose the Lions.
Both Pope and Benzschawel have a legitimate chance to make the 53-man roster, given Detroit’s thin lineup on the offensive line. Other undrafted rookies to keep an eye on include defensive Malik Carney, who tallied 24 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks in his final two season at North Carolina, and monster-of-a-man Donald Parham, who stands tall at 6-foot-8 and is capable of plays like this:
It'll be tough for Donald Parham to crack a suddenly crowded Lions' TE depth chart, but he's a lot of fun. This is a 6-8 dude: pic.twitter.com/rLJ7UOvKsH— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) April 28, 2019
In addition to this UDFA class, the Lions have numerous undrafted players who are expected to take part in this weekend’s rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. We’ve got a list of some of those players in our 2019 UDFA tracker.
In addition to these 13 signings, the Lions have released wide receiver Brandon Reilly, bringing their roster total to the maximum 90 players.