Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
4. Of all of the Undrafted Free Agents added post-draft, who has the best chance to not only make the team, but have an impact.
Platte – “I have been a vocal critic of Joique Bell for quite some time now, but I won’t go into his many flaws here. Instead, I’ll talk about Zach Zenner, RB from South Dakota State University. Like Bell, Zenner comes from a smaller school where he faced inferior competition. Also like Bell, Zenner dominated that competition. He’s durable, versatile, and more athletic than most give him credit for. I not only think that Zach Zenner will find a place in the running back rotation, I think he smoothly overtakes George Winn on the depth chart and is fighting with Joique Bell and Theo Riddick for carries by the end of the season. Plus, how cool would it be to have a one two punch at RB starring AA and ZZ?”
DeMara – “Vernon Johnson, simply because the Lions didn’t take a wide receiver in the draft and someone has to fill the slot receiver and returner role, right? Johnson is quick and has good 6-1 height on his side, but he hasn’t been tested against big competition. Sometimes, guys like that thrive because they are driven to work hard. Providing he can get enough reps with Matthew Stafford to get comfortable and make a name for himself on special teams, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Johnson stick around.”
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Shackelford – “I like Zach Zenner, the running back from South Dakota State. I think he’ll be a versatile option in the backfield for the Lions and on special teams. I see him being able to fill both full back and running back duties. Detroit used its fifth round back on a full back in Michael Burton who was the best run blocking full back in the draft, but Zenner’s talent on film is obvious and I think he finds a role on the team.”
Fischer – “Kevin Snyder – With all the attention paid to the defensive backfield and the defensive line, the backers have been largely ignored. But fact is the Lions are a couple injuries away from being shorthanded at the position. Snyder may also be able to contribute on special teams.”
Williams – “For myself, this is an easy pick — Zach Zenner from SDSU. Zenner was an FCS stud during his colligate career, rushing for 2000+ yards in three consecutive seasons. But he is more that just a great runner, he is also stellar at pass protection. His great blocking abilities have also sparked the question — Could Zenner play fullback? I have say he’s still a running back, but one that will make the final 53 man roster.
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