From being undrafted to the practice squad to becoming this offseason’s standout performer, Detroit Lions wide receiver Chris Lacy is trending upwards.
Oklahoma State wide receiver Chris Lacy landed with the Detroit Lions without much fanfare in 2018. Having recorded just 20 receptions for 264 yards and a single touchdown his senior season, Lacy’s prospects for finding an NFL home were bleak.
Yet, Lacy found himself on the roster of the New England Patriots following their latest Super Bowl appearance. The undrafted free agent signed with the Pats in early May after the 6-foot-3, 205-pound receiver posted an impressive 4.44 forty yard dash at his college pro day. Unfortunately for Lacy, (and fortunately for the Lions) he would spend just two weeks in New England before being waived in order for the Pats to sign offensive guard Jason King for his second stint with the team.
The Lions would claim Lacy off waivers, as new head coach Matt Patricia seemed to be in a mad scramble to acquire ex-Pats. In the preseason, the first-year wideout posted three receptions for 17 yards in the four exhibitions. Lacy scored a touchdown in the last game, but would still be waived during final cuts. The young receiver made it through waivers and spent most of his rookie season on Detroit’s practice squad.
After the Lions’ wide receiver corps was decimated by injuries, Lacy was promoted to the active roster last December. He would play a total of 45 snaps, all in Detroit’s final game against the Green Bay Packers. Lacy was targeted only once in the contest and did not record a reception.
The 23-year old seemed like an unlikely name we’d be talking much about this summer. Yet, ESPN’s Michael Rothstein named Lacy as the Lions’ surprise offseason standout recently. Here’s Rothstein’s explanation as to why …
"” … Lacy seemed to make plays almost every practice during the open spring workouts. It might be a tough way to a roster spot for the second-year pro out of Oklahoma State, but he has a size/speed component that most of Detroit’s receivers don’t … Lacy could end up finding his way onto the roster as a depth receiver.”"
Player development is a real thing in the NFL. As fans, we often forget that fact as we’ve seen so many prospects fail to reach their potential. And it’s easy to forget that some gambles actually do pay off.
As for Chris Lacy, he’s certainly benefited from the extra opportunities he’s received due to starting receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones both being sidelined due to injury. We’ll be keeping a watchful eye on the development of this young wideout to see if his strong offseason carries over into training camp.