Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Zenner, RB, South Dakota State
Once upon a time, the Detroit Lions signed an undrafted free agent running back who came from a D2 school where he had a prolific career. Joique Bell has become a pretty decent pro running back, but he’s also going to be 29 this year, running into the 30 year wall next. Enter Zach Zenner, a D1-FCS running back who had a prolific football career. Zenner had not one, not two, but three back to back 2,000 yard rushing seasons. So why did he go undrafted?
So it turns out he’s a pretty good athlete, too. Huh. I kind of thought his athleticism was why he wasn’t drafted. I guess I was wrong. So let’s see. He’s been productive. He’s athletic. His character is impeccable.
Nope. Maybe his tape was unimpressive?
I’ve got nothing.
This is, if you haven’t guessed, my favorite undrafted free agent signing. I’d even mocked Zenner to the Lions as a fullback prior to the draft, and while I think he could thrive there it sounds like the Lions see him as a rusher. That’s fine, too. Zenner should give George Winn a run for his money from day one. He should be an early favorite to make the roster as a UDFA, despite the now crowded backfield.
Rasheed Williams, RB, Alfred State
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Another big bodied back that can run downhill, Rasheed Williams makes the fourth back on the roster that fits that mold (Bell, Zenner, Winn the other three). It’s a pretty crowded position group all of a sudden, but Williams will get a shot just like all the others.
For a one cut guy that doesn’t shy from contact, Williams holds the ball loosely when he gets into space, and doesn’t transition the ball from one hand to the other very well. With ball security a likely focus after Bell’s season and the acquisition of Ameer Abdullah, this is a flaw that will be important to watch for fans and important to improve for Williams.
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