This underrated free agent acquisition by the Detroit Lions in the offseason could turnout to be a very nice red zone target for quarterback Matthew Stafford.
When you think of some of the best quarterback-tight end tandems in NFL history, names like Dan Fouts to Kellen Winslow, Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski, John Elway to Shannon Sharpe and Tony Romo to Jason Witten likely come to mind.
But Fells, who signed a modest one-year, $1 million contract with the Lions back in March, is an underrated acquisition that could have a major impact on Detroit’s upcoming season. The 31-year old Fells is a former professional basketball player, which his 6-foot7, 281 pound frame would suggest.
Signed primarily as a blocking tight end, Fells could certainly aid an ailing offensive line in Detroit that is without their best lineman, left tackle Taylor Decker, for most of the upcoming season due to a shoulder injury.
But it’s Fell’s ability as a receiver that has Lions’ offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter and the rest of Detroit’s coaching staff triply excited about the possibilities.
"“Well, we are excited about Darren,” Cooter told the Oakland Press. “We’re excited about Darren as a blocker and as a receiver. He’s a really big target, he’s a really good blocking guy as well as a receiver. So, we’re excited about him.’’"
With former first round pick tight end Eric Ebron recording just one receiving touchdown in 2016, there is certainly a need for a big target like Darren Fells in the red zone this season. Who knows? Maybe Fells will become Stafford’s new security blanket in Detroit. At the very least, it someone to watch for during training camp and a name to follow through the preseason.