Nathan Lindsey, DB, Fort Hays State
Fort Hays State University is in Kansas. I figure I save you the Google search. If the school is hard to find, you can bet it’s hard to find people who have an opinion on players from there. Lindsey was the first UDFA the Lions signed that I hadn’t personally reviewed (There were many), so he was the first I watched.
Lindsey has decent size and appears to be athletic enough. Playing at the D3 level, you can guess at the kind of competition he faced most games, however, and his lack of technique is glaring. His hits are violent and reckless, however, which will make coaches turn their heads. Most likely, he’s a practice squad candidate while the Lions work on his technique.
Delonte Hollowell, DB, Michigan
The diminutive Hollowell wasn’t known for his production at Michigan, finishing his career with 0 interceptions and only 2 pass deflections. There isn’t really a whole lot to add with him as he wasn’t a college caliber starting defensive back and I doubt he has what it takes to be as a pro. He’ll get his shot in training camp, but he’s starting off near the bottom of the roster.
Isaiah Johnson, SS, Georgia Tech
Johnson received a $10,000 signing bonus from the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent, so his road isn’t as choppy to the final roster as the other safeties. Still, he has to prove it on the field, and that’s where his chances improve dramatically. With James Ihedigbo holding out of training camp, someone is going to have to take those snaps. Leave your seat and there’s a chance you lose it, James.
Johnson follows a trend for defensive backs for Teryl Austin. He is a ‘jobber’, meaning he is adept at being where he is supposed to be in a complicated scheme and does his job more than he relies on his physical abilities or talents to succeed. That may sound negative, but within this defensive scheme it can be a huge benefit and is part of the reason the Lions safeties did so well last season.
Brian Suite, SS, Utah State
The most athletic of the undrafted safeties, Suite matches that with good upside. His present abilities from a technical sense are less than impressive, and he looks like someone whose instincts got the worst of him at times. His technique isn’t great either, which when coupled with his below average instincts are the likely cause of joining the other undrafted free agents.
The Detroit Lions brought in three undrafted free agent safeties, the most out of any position group. It’s likely that they are either not concerned about James Ihedigbo’s holdout status, or they don’t view the strong safety position as a big enough concern schematically to warrant addressing earlier.
Next: Skill Positions on Offense