The Lions have reportedly cut wide receiver Troy Burrell and defensive back Alonzo Lawrence who were both recently signed as undrafted rookies.
The team used the two vacant roster spots on former Arena Football League quarterback R.J. Archer, who previously tried out for the Lions during rookie minicamp, and defensive back Dontrell Johnson, who the team was awarded off of waivers from the Jaguars, according to the Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson.
The Lions cut wide receiver Troy Burrell and defensive back Alonzo Lawrence
— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) June 22, 2012
The Lions were awarded defensive back Dontrell Johnson off waivers from the Jaguars
— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) June 22, 2012
It’s unfortunate for some Lions fans that wide receiver Troy Burrell was cut because he is a local product out of Wayne State University. However, it isn’t shocking that he was cut seeing as the Lions already have one of the deepest rosters as far as the wide receiver position goes and Burrell would have had to beat out the likes of Stefan Logan, Maurice Stovall, Patrick Edwards, and a few others for the final fifth wide receiver roster spot.
Burrell has too much talent not to be picked up by another team who is in need for a project slot receiver. He posted incredible statistics at the Division II level with 187 receptions, 3,132 yards, and 27 touch downs in his four year career in the GLIAC conference. It will only be a matter of time before Burrell’s name is added to a roster—most likely a struggling team who could use the added depth and Burrell’s history of performing on game day.
As for Alonzo Lawrence, additional Lions fans may be upset that he didn’t get to make it to training camp. SLR previously discussed how Lawrence is an intriguing prospect because of his large 6-2 frame, ability to play multiple positions, and, most importantly, his interesting collegiate background. He has bounced around from college to college before finally coming out of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College as an undrafted free agent. Although the Lions secondary is shaky right now and it is unclear who will exactly be starting at each position, Lawrence didn’t make the cut, but he should catch on with another camp who likes to utilize larger corner backs.
So who exactly are the Lions getting with their two additions to the 90-man training camp roster? Good question.
R.J Archer is an interesting grab for the Lions because he too has had a fascinating road to the NFL. The William & Mary product has spent time with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent in their 2010 summer minicamp and with two different Arena Football League squads. Archer had originally tried out for the Lions, but walked away without receiving a roster spot.
This signing is intriguing because it could hint that the Lions other undrafted free agent rookie quarterback Kellen Moore isn’t performing too well in their past few minicamps. Moore has reportedly shown a weak arm and has floated a majority of his passes in camp. Additional Lions bloggers have hypothesized that Moore will not make the final 53-man roster and, in fact, the Lions may very well only carry two quarterbacks this season since veteran quarterback Drew Stanton is now an Indianapolis Colt. It will be interesting to see how the Lions quarterback situation shakes out from here on into the preseason games.
Recent waiver claim Dontrell Johnson is an undrafted rookie free agent who originally signed with Jacksonville on May 31st. After spending nearly a month with the Jags, the Murray State alumnus was waived and awarded to the Lions. NFLDraftScout.com had listed him as the 60th best corner back entering the 2012 NFL Draft, but his physical measurable’s are what seems to be most interesting. The Lions seemingly cut Alonzo Lawrence and his 6-2, 215 pound frame for Johnson who is a smaller, finesse type of cover corner with a 5-9, 176 pound frame. Apparently the Lions felt it was more appropriate to have a smaller, quicker corner back in camp who can run a 4.45 40-yard-dash and can swivel their hips faster than a bigger-bodied defensive back can.
These recent signings could prove to have no impact on how the Lions 2012-13 season actually turns out; however, it is possible that one of these guys turns out to be the next Kurt Warner—a soon to be NFL Hall of Famer.
For extra credit, take the time to watch Alonzo Lawrence’s highlight tape from 2011. He has some jarring hits and can really smoke people. He is tremendous on special teams, too. Not to mention he is dangerous with the ball in his hands after he makes those athletic interceptions.