The Detroit Lions announced on Tuesday that they have signed former University of Michigan receiver—and 2015 second-round pick—Devin Funchess to the roster. In an interesting twist, the Lions have listed him as a tight end.
At Michigan, Funchess (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) played both tight end and wide receiver, but at the NFL level, he’s mostly been an outside receiver. He saw some moderate success with the team that drafted him, the Carolina Panthers. His best season came in 2017, when he pulled in 63 catches for 840 yards and eight touchdowns. However, he has not eclipsed 600 receiving yards in any other season of his career.
Funchess has not played since 2019, however. After signing with the Green Bay Packers in 2020, he opted out due to COVID-19 concerns. He re-joined the Packers in 2021, but was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury and released a few days later. He would later sign onto the 49ers practice squad but did not make it on the field in his two-week stint with San Francisco.
Funchess is not only a former Wolverine, but he grew up in Farmington Hills. With the Lions thin at tight end with injuries—rookies James Mitchell and Derrick Deese basically missed all of the offseason activities—Funchess will have a chance to return and compete at a position he thrived at in Ann Arbor. Funchess is still just 28 years old, so there’s certainly an opportunity for a career revival in Detroit.