The Detroit Lions are working hard to scour the waiver wire for some top additions, and may have found an intriguing one in the form of wideout KhaDarel Hodge.
Wednesday afternoon, the Lions revealed they had signed Hodge to the team. Hodge was most recently with the Cleveland Browns where he enjoyed a big preseason of work. Unfortunately for Hodge, the Browns have plenty of talent at wideout, so they were forced to let him go. With a high waiver priority, Detroit was able to pounce and add him to the mix.
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Detroit’s wideout group has looked exceptionally thin heading into the new season, and Hodge will add some intrigue to the mix for the team. Detroit added Trinity Benson in a bold trade on cut day, and that move could help given the positive career trajectory Benson seems to have at this point in time. Still, he's a young, underrated player, Amon-Ra St. Brown is a rookie, Tom Kennedy is an unproven practice squad player, Quintez Cephus is largely unproven and Tyrell Williams is an injury-plagued veteran. That's a lot of uncertainty for a group that felt like it could stand more additions.
At this point, Hodge’s addition feels like a big one for the Lions, and he will get a chance to state his case right off the bat in a spot where immediate playing time is all but guaranteed given the lack of depth across the roster.
KhaDarel Hodge Called ‘Lights-Out’ Preseason Player
Like Detroit’s other addition at wideout via trade Trinity Benson, Hodge has been generating plenty of love for what he can do on the field. This preseason, he put up 63 yards and 2 touchdowns in limited action with the Browns. He has also been a special teams standout for the team.
That work has earned Hodge the title of a lights-out player from those who cover the Browns such as ESPN’s Jake Trotter, who also said that someone would be getting a ballplayer in signing Hodge.
Additionally, and perhaps most notably for the Lions, Hodge was called a special teams ace by Trotter. Dan Campbell has spoken about how important it is for his wideouts to have a sound special teams background, so the stars could align here for Hodge to perhaps make an even bigger name for himself in Detroit with this in mind.
Hodge’s Stats and Highlights
Originally out of Prairie View A&M, Hodge has the small-school background that so many wide receivers have maintained through the years en-route to becoming big time targets at the next level. He originally signed with the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2018, and played in 14 regular season games his rookie year, playing a key special teams role when the Rams went to the Super Bowl. After being cut, Hodge went to Cleveland, where he played in all 16 games for the team in 2019. He returned in 2020 and would finish with 180 yards receiving for the team. This season, he was a victim of a deep depth chart at wideout. In total, he has 17 receptions and 273 receiving yards in his short NFL career.
A look at Hodge’s highlights show the type of player who could be ready for more action in Detroit and to take his career to the next step:
Hodge will now get his shot to shine in Detroit where he will be tasked with developing some chemistry with Jared Goff ahead of the 2021 season.
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