The Detroit Lions offer plenty of players both young and old a chance to play if they earn their way on the field with solid work, and that makes the team a prime destination for undrafted free agents.
In 2021, multiple players who went undrafted made the Lions and played an important role, so it would only stand to reason that the team could also unearth a few hidden gems in 2022 as well. Perhaps the biggest potential hidden gem has been revealed in the form of TCU offensive lineman Obinna Eze.
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After the draft, the Lions scooped up Eze as part of their UDFA class of 2022. Already, he is being projected for big things once the 2022 offseason wraps up and the team gets back to work on the field later on this summer.
Recently, Bleacher Report and writer Brent Sobleski put together a list of the top UDFA players who could be expected to crack various rosters. The pick for Detroit was Eze, and as Sobleski said, the team is eying him more as a swing option up front rather than a starter. Still, the physical tools could be enough to keep Eze around.
“The former basketball standout needs to work on his technique and consistency, but he could blossom in a professional setting and become well worth the Lions’ investment,” Sobleski wrote.
Given the commitment the Lions pledged to Eze, it’s not hard to imagine the team liking him enough to stay and the player perhaps even earning a roster bid. Still, there will be challenges as to the likelihood of that playing out.
Eze’s College Stats & Highlights
The Lions handed Eze a major $170,000 signing bonus to come to town, so clearly, Brad Holmes, Dan Campbell and Hank Fraley wanted to get their hands on a player who could figure as a steal given his size and could have the ability to play inside and out in the league. Eze has 6-6 size and plenty of durability, starting games with both Memphis and TCU after transfer. That’s a big reason the Lions will like him quickly for 2022.
Eze is a player who has a solid frame and uses his size to his advantage to get good leverage. He may need more strength to make it in the league. It’s a mild surprise he wasn’t drafted, but the Lions offer him a great shot considering all the different lineman they’ve used in recent years. For this reason, keep him on your radar as he tries to make the team. There’s a chance Eze could grab attention if not make the team as others suggest.
Detroit’s Depth Will Make Cracking Roster Hard for UDFA Class
Unlike in 2021 when the Lions were dealing with a more gutted roster, this year’s team is seemingly in much better shape in terms of the depth their team has created, and that’s especially true along the offensive front. No longer are the Lions dealing from a position of weakness but a position of strength with a solid starting lineup on the offensive line. Even beyond starters, names like Tommy Kraemer, Matt Nelson, Evan Brown, Logan Stenberg and Ryan McCollum have impressed to upgrade the overall depth of the unit. This helps the Lions to look stronger at a key spot of the team. What it also does is raise the difficulty level on a player like Eze to crack the roster given all the young competition he will have to battle against in order to do so.
Safe to say if Eze finds a way to join the team he will have earned it in the end, and that’s just what some are already predicting him to do. Lions fans will be hoping for it to happen, because it will bolster an already solid offensive line further heading into the future.
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