The Detroit Lions have put the finishing touches on their undrafted free agency class for 2020, and while it’s much smaller in scope, there is no lack of talent that will be coming into the mix for the team this summer.
While Detroit’s roster is seemingly looking set in plenty of spots, the chance does exist for the team to get a few of their UDFA players on the roster in 2020. The team has always found success with a few players they find following the draft, and this could continue this season.
When the work begins, what players could make a case to stay to Matt Patricia and company? Here’s a look at the top names to remember.
Jalen Elliott, S, Notre Dame
A team captain at Notre Dame, Elliott is a player who will come in with a bit of hype given the fact that he was one of the better players on the back end of the team’s defense. He also will have a solid relationship with Julian Okwara, which could help his case. Elliott put up 173 tackles and 6 interceptions in his career with the Irish. It will be tough to make the team at safety considering how loaded the position is, but Elliott is a smart, savvy player who could get a look.
Arryn Siposs, P, Auburn
The Lions need a punter, and they’ve got Jack Fox on the roster. Matt Wile was just released and Siposs figures to be Fox’s direct competition for the job this season in Detroit barring some type of veteran signing. In just a pair of seasons as a punter at Auburn, Siposs put up some excellent numbers. He collected 5,150 yards with a 44.0 average. He was the number 3 and 4 punter in the SEC over that span despite not having much experience with football. As he continues to learn, this could only get better. It seems Siposs is safe bet to have a great chance to make the team as punter this fall.
Jeremiah Dinson, S, Auburn
Dinson is more of a defensive back than a pure safety which gives him a solid chance to crack the roster in Detroit given the versatility he’s shown in college. He can play a bit of cornerback and safety and move all the way around on a defense. Plus he is a player which has been referred to as a workout warrior by Lions running back Kerryon Johnson who referred to him as “Dumbell Dinson” after the signing was revealed. The Lions like talented players who can move around and bring the effort. Based on that alone, Dinson figures to be in the mix to perhaps land on the roster eventually.
Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington
Bryant, expected to be the biggest prize in the undrafted free agency period, comes to the Lions as a very productive tight end out of Washington. The Lions depth at the position behind T.J. Hockenson and Jesse James is a bit thin, so Bryant would add a little bit with his ability to go up and make catches. In college, Bryant put up 1,394 yards and 5 touchdowns, but 6-2 size means he could be a solid pass catching option for the team at the position. He should have a great chance at sticking on the roster.
Steven Wirtel, LS, Iowa State
The Lions tried to replace Don Muhlbach a few years ago with Jimmy Landes in the 5th round. Since then it appears Bob Quinn wised up and realized he doesn’t need to draft a long snapper any more than he needs to draft a punter. There’s been no snapper added since Landes until now. Wirtel coming to camp is interesting because theoretically, Muhlbach doesn’t have much time left even though he’s essentially appeared ageless. Perhaps he could stick on the roster if Muhlbach decides not to stick it out this year. Wirtel was one of the top snappers available and perhaps if the Lions like him they can keep him on the practice squad. Still, this looks as if it will be very interesting situation to monitor for 2020.
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