Detroit Lions: Undrafted rookie wide receiver raising eyebrows
Could an undrafted rookie, who has been raising some eyebrows this offseason, crack the Detroit Lions’ already stacked depth chart at wide receiver?
The Detroit Lions have one of the top wide receiver corps in the NFL. Last season, this positional unit helped the Motor City rank sixth in passing offense, racking up 4,183 yards and 29 touchdowns through the air.
Many believe the top four receivers on the depth chart in Detroit are already locked. Those players obviously being Golden Tate, Marvin Jones Jr., Kenny Golladay and T.J. Jones. Those four wide outs, along with Jared Abbrederis, made up Detroit’s entire depth chart at the start of last season. Abbrederis was waived by the Lions last November and ended up retiring two months later.
Amidst a flurry of coaching changes, new head coach Matt Patricia opted to keep offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter on staff. He’ll rejoin quarterback Matthew Stafford and his fearsome foursome of receivers as they attempt to take the Lions back to the playoffs after missing out last season.
Although the depth chart for wide outs in Detroit may be near capacity, there is an undrafted rookie who has been making some noise this offseason. If the young receiver continues to impress, could he possibly sneak onto the Lions’ active roster?
Described as having a “monster practice” by Kyle Meinke of Mlive.com on Wednesday, former Bowling Green wide receiver Teo Redding has been raising several eyebrows during OTA’s and into his first minicamp.
"“Rookie wide receiver Teo Redding (6-1, 181) caught my eye Wednesday with two long catches in team drills,” said Tim Twentyman on the team’s official website. “He got behind the defense twice, once along the left sideline and later down the right sideline, both for long receptions thrown by quarterback Matt Cassel.”"
Described as a raw prospect with incredible jumping ability and blazing 4.46 speed, Redding could easily become a new deep threat for this already lethal Lions’ passing attack. Although his slight frame, lack of college production and suspect route running are all concerns, the 23-year old appears to be making the best of his opportunity early in Detroit.
As the below video displays, Redding could be an excellent 50/50 ball catcher and redzone target for Stafford in Detroit. That’s something the Lions may be in desperate need of if the questions surrounding their tight end position continue to linger into the regular season.
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During his senior season with the Falcons, Teo Redding recorded 45 catches for 624 yards and eight touchdowns, earning himself second-team All-MAC honors. But the undrafted rookie faces plenty of stiff competition in Detroit this summer, with returning vets like Jace Billingsley, Dontez Ford and Andy Jones all vying for what may only be one open spot left on the roster for a receiver.