Lions Undrafted Free Agent Central

May 10th, 2014

With the 2014 NFL Draft now in the books, it’s undrafted free agent season.

Here are the players the Lions have signed following the draft and a brief breakdown of their chances to stick. Last year the Lions struck gold with LaAdrian Waddle and Joseph Fauria. Who will make it this year?

Gabe Lynn, CB, Oklahoma:

Lynn is a long corner, which holds appeal to the Lions. He flashed some skills at times, though he’s pretty stiff in the hips. The 4.58 he ran in the 40 at his pro day is evident from his on-field play. He’s got decent bulk and could make the transition to safety. He played opposite Aaron Colvin and saw a lot of balls thrown his way in 2013. Came down with 4 INTs, the only ones of his Sooners career. Nine career PDs.

Louisiana Lafayette TE Jacob Maxwell:

I did not personally scout Maxwell, so all of this is from other sources. I did see him play twice, including in person in 2012, but he did not make my notes.

From the National Football Post:

The 6-foot-4, 249-pounder ran the 40-yard dash in 4.68 seconds at his campus Pro Day workout and had a 38.5-inch vertical leap with a 10-7 broad jump.

He caught 12 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns last season

From former ULL player Emory Hunt:

James Franklin, QB, Missouri

This is the mobile, scrambling, improvisational quarterback to fill that role in practices that the Lions have sorely lacked. That’s probably too narrow of an assessment, but that figures to be his primary role.

Franklin was having a monster of a year for the Tigers, throwing 19 TDs and completing over 62% of his passes, while also rushing for over 500 yards and four TDs before suffering a shoulder injury. He’s noted for his leadership and fearlessness.

He has a decent arm, though a wonky delivery often takes away from his velocity. If he can tighten up his mechanics and quicken his release, he should knock Kellen Moore off the roster.

Jerome Couplin, S, William & Mary

FCS-level tackling machine in a strong conference at that level. He’s 6’2″ and a very solid 215, ran a 4.5 flat at his pro day in freezing drizzle (thanks Chiefsspin!)

The only game of his I saw was against Richmond, where he was all over the field. He definitely plays to his timed speed. Very quick to react to the ball, though doesn’t have great instincts. He’s got higher upside than Cooper Taylor, who went to the Giants from Richmond a year ago.

Cornelius Lucas, OT, Kansas State

Giant 6’8″ right tackle prospect with the longest wingspan in the draft at over 36″. He could not work out for teams after suffering a stress fracture in his foot but was recently cleared.

Here are some game notes from the 2012 contest against West Virginia.

Here’s a lengthy and trustworthy scouting report on Lucas from Alex Dunlap at Bleacher Report

Lucas faces an uphill battle, as the Lions are set with Riley Reiff, LaAdrian Waddle and Corey Hilliard at tackle and also brought in JB Shugarts as a free agent.

Edit–this indicates Lucas has a fighting chance:

Andrew Peacock, WR, Appalachian State

Sticky-handed FCS receiver with great explosive metrics (38″ vertical, 10′ broad jump, 7.00 3-cone) but plays at one speed and does not have great long speed. Will need to play in the slot, as he’s just 5’9″ and is much more quick than fast. Real longshot after the team drafted TJ Jones and already has Ryan Broyles and Golden Tate to play in the slot.

Mohammed Seisay, CB, Nebraska

Big, well-built corner who was more physical than more heralded teammate Stanley Jean-Baptiste. Launched his draft profile with a truly astonishing pro day workout, where all of his numbers except the 40 would have been the best-in-show at the Combine. Here’s a video of his workout:

A scout from another team had his time as 4.49, which is more indicative of his on-field speed.

He barely played for the Cornhuskers, as he was their 4th corner most of the season. Hard to formulate a scouting evaluation from that, but it says a lot that he was the 4th CB at Nebraska despite all those truly impressive physical attributes.

A.J. Dalton, G, Robert Morris

I’ve never heard of Dalton. Here’s his profile page from NFL Draft Scout. Now you know as much as I do.

Greg Hickman, DT, FIU

Hickman is an eyebrow raising signee, in that it’s difficult to see what the Lions saw in him. He’s a 6’0″, 280 pound tackle who netted just 3 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss in 2013. He didn’t demonstrate great athleticism at FIU’s pro day. Hickman wasn’t listed in any draft guide, including some that charted over 1,000 prospects.

Chad Abram, FB, Florida State

Abram gives the Lions a second option at fullback behind Jed Collins. He’s an explosive athlete who went to Florida State as a safety. He embraced the change, even adopting the old-school neck roll to augment his thumping style. Abram is a punishing lead blocker who stays engaged and did a decent job picking up pass rushers coming at Jameis Winston. He could make the roster if he thrives on special teams, but making the practice squad is a more realistic goal.

Isaiah Newsome, S, UL-Monroe

He’s best-known for his highlight-reel performance against Texas State, where he ran back two INTs for TDs, both over 70 yards. But where Newsome caught my attention in games I saw (including vs. my alma mater Ohio in the AdvoCare Bowl in 2012) is how well he plays in the red zone. He’s very aggressive, but does so in a controlled manner so that he isn’t burned easily.

That makes sense, because the shorter field negates his biggest weakness, which is long speed and range. He’s only an average athlete, and at just 5’11″ it’s a real hindrance. The WarHawks played a 3-3-5, and Newsome was often the flex corner/safety. Hits well for his size, but also generally wraps well and gets the man to the ground.

If he can carve himself a niche on special teams, he could stick on the practice squad. The more athletic Couplin offers a lot higher ceiling among the UDFA safeties though.

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3 Responses to “Lions Undrafted Free Agent Central”

  1. The Strategy Expert says:

    James Franklin is a gamer, interesting addition!

  2. seenable says:

    Athleticism appears to be a theme this year among these Lions UDFAs.

  3. Highlander says:

    Surprised there isn’t an update , review or anything after the signings and camp started. Oh well, guess it’s not important .

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