Vernon Johnson, WR, Texas A&M Commerce
A small school receiver with a limited route tree, I’m not sure I expected much out of Vernon Johnson. Still, this is the first season since Martin Mayhew took over as general manager that a wide receiver was not drafted, so the undrafted guys that were brought in have to have some kind of appeal to them, more so than in previous years.
Johnson is a medium-sized receiver with excellent long speed and deep ball tracking skills. He runs about three routes, with the go being his primary and obviously most comfortable route, followed by the slant and the hitch. Fans who have been watching Corey Fuller over the past few seasons will be used to the type of plays that he runs, though Vernon Johnson is a few inches shorter and skinnier.
Marcus Beaurem, WR, Tiffin
Basically, see everything that I wrote above for Vernon Johnson, substitute Marcus Beaurem, and evaluation complete. Deep ball specialist that runs minimal routes (In his case, it’s all deep routes, go, post, corner).
Casey Pierce, TE, Kent State
One of the more stable positions at the moment for the Detroit Lions is at tight end where they still have Brandon Pettigrew under contract and drafted Eric Ebron in 2014, as well as having a hopefully healthy Joseph Fauria. Signing an undrafted free agent at tight end was the only way they were going to bring in any competition after skipping the blocking TEs late in the draft.
Pierce is your traditional inline TE who did most of his receiving damage up the seam. He has an H-back build and will likely never be able to fill a traditional TE role as a pro. His best bet on the Lions is to assert himself as a blocker early, an area he seemed just okay at playing for Kent State. It’s going to be a tough position group to break into and he has a long road ahead.
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