On Friday, the Detroit Lions signed 13 undrafted rookies to their roster, giving those players the hope their NFL dream has finally come true.
But there’s a lot of work to be done before those players get what they’ve been working so hard for in the past decade or so. First, they must survive this week’s rookie minicamp, then go through organized team activities and training camp, making an impression all along the way while avoiding getting released.
Then there’s the final 53-man roster cutdown at the end of the preseason. Many of these players face steep odds to even make it to training camp, let alone the final roster. That being said, undrafted free agents (UDFAs) make final rosters all the time, and this year may be no exception.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Which Lions UDFA has the best chance of making the Lions 53-man roster?
My answer: In my latest roster projection, I actually had three different UDFAs making the roster: offensive linemen Beau Benzschawel and Ryan Pope and defensive end Malik Carney.
Of those three, I think Benzschawel has the best chance of making the roster. Detroit’s depth at offensive line isn’t all that great, and if we’re being completely honest, the outlook for starting right guard looks pretty awful, too. While Pope has a really good chance, too—the Lions’ depth at offensive tackle is just as bad—I’d give the edge to Benzschawel simply because he was in such high demand and probably deserved to be drafted. I’m not one to think he’ll come in and win the starting job right away, but he could very well be the primary backup.