The Detroit Lions announced on Monday morning that they have signed linebacker Natrez Patrick, who tried out for the team over the weekend at rookie minicamp. In a corresponding move, they have waived edge defender Jessie Lemonier.
Patrick is actually not a true rookie. He went undrafted out of Georgia back in 2019 and was signed by the Los Angeles Rams. That’s noteworthy, of course, because both Lions general manager Brad Holmes and assistant general manager Ray Agnew were working for the Rams at that point in their careers.
Patrick played in 25 games for the Rams in his first two years, but almost exclusively as a special teamer (he had 16 defensive snaps). Last year, he was claimed by the Denver Broncos, but was placed on injured reserve after suffering an injury during last year’s OTAs that caused him to get carted off the field.
A former Georgia Bulldog, Patrick is listed at 6-foot-3, 242 pounds on the Lions’ rookie minicamp roster. He fits into the category of an off-ball linebacker who is capable of coming off the edge—much like Lions sixth-round pick James Houston, who was seen most playing off-ball at minicamp. He’ll enter the linebacker competition, hoping to find a reserve spot on the team. He’ll have to compete with the likes of Chris Board, Shaun Dion Hamilton, Jarrad Davis, Josh Woods and Houston.
With the offseason program continuing this week (the rookies will finally be joining the veterans), Patrick will get his opportunity to make his bid for the 53-man roster starting now.