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Detroit Lions waive Jalen Elliott, Javon McKinley, creating ample space for rookie class

The Detroit Lions have released two more players, giving them 12 roster spots available to sign their UDFA rookie class.

Philadelphia Eagles vs Detroit Lions Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

On Thursday morning the Detroit Lions announced the final two cuts necessary to fit in their 2022 rookie class, including the undrafted players. The team waived safety Jalen Elliott and wide receiver Javon McKinley. Those moves create 12 vacant spots on the roster (assuming the team’s rookie draft class is under contract), which is the exact space needed to sign the team’s reported UDFA class.

Elliott, himself, was a UDFA, going undrafted out of Notre Dame in 2020. Though he didn’t originally make the Lions roster that year, he was signed to their practice squad and stayed there for the entire season. It was a similar story last season, except he got the call up from the practice squad in early November and stayed on the active roster the rest of the season. Elliott would end up making eight game appearances, playing mostly on special teams, although he did make one spot start.

The additions of DeShon Elliott in free agency and Kerby Joseph in the draft likely put Jalen Elliott’s spot on the roster in jeopardy.

An undrafted rookie last year, McKinley was on and off the practice squad all of 2021, but never made it on the active roster. He, too, was likely pushed off the 90-man roster due to the Lions’ offseason moves. With the addition of DJ Chark in free agency and Jameson Williams in the draft, the Lions’ wide receiver room saw a massive upgrade this offseason.

The Lions have not made the signings of any of their rookies official yet, but with rookie minicamp to begin on Friday, expect the news to drop soon.