Detroit Lions: Two undrafted free agents who were draftable

Hunter Bryant, Washington Huskies (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Hunter Bryant, Washington Huskies (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions drafted nine players and then signed seven more as undrafted free agents recently. This is where I had them all ranked on my big board.

As I do every year prior to the NFL draft, I ranked the draftable players myself and then follow the Detroit Lions as they maneuver through the annual college selection event. And this year was no different.

I was surprised that two of my top 100 weren’t drafted but pleased that one of them was later signed by the Lions (the other by the Washington Redskins). Here is how I had the players the Lions picked up ranked.

My third overall ranked player was selected by the Lions third overall, that being cornerback Jeff Okudah of course. They followed that pick in the second round, at 35th overall, with my 30th ranked player, running back D’Andre Swift, which is a first-round grade. Then at No. 67, the pick was the defensive end/linebacker Julian Okwara who I had ranked 49th, a second-round grade.

A pretty solid start to the draft in my opinion. And definitely so based on my rankings. But here is where it got interesting. I had a third round grade, 82nd overall, on tight end Hunter Bryant who the Lions managed to sign as an undrafted player. That just astounds me and I was very pleased with that.

At pick No. 75, the Lions selected guard Jonah Jackson, who I had ranked 97th overall. But that’s still within that third/fourth round grade (meaning he could go in either round), so I’m not complaining.

Now, the Lions drop all the way to pick No. 121 to draft my 107th ranked player in guard Logan Stenberg. An even bigger drop was the Lions next pick at No. 166. They selected my 197th ranked player in wide receiver, Quintez Cephus. That’s still a Day Three grade drafted in the fifth round so again, no issues there for me.

Then there was another surprise. At my ranking of No. 201, only four spots after Cephus, was safety Jalen Elliott. A fifth/sixth round grade for me, Elliott landed in Detroit as an undrafted free agent signing.

The rest of the draft and undrafted players were all ranked as projected seventh rounders or undrafted free agents. This includes running back Jason Huntley (who may actually play at slot wide receiver) at pick No. 172; nose-tackle John Penisini at No. 197; and defensive tackle Jashon Cornell at No. 235.

The other five undrafted players signed with the same grades as those above are long snapper Steve Wirtel, fullback Luke Sellers, punter Arryn Siposs, safety Bobby Price, and safety Jeremiah Dinson. There’s potential here for a couple of these guys to make the final roster too, mainly due to the positions they play.

The Lions best draft picks by round since 2009. dark. Next

Unlike many previous years, the Detroit Lions didn’t really go all over my board during the 2020 NFL Draft. The Lions pretty much followed the order and at the same time managed to snag a couple undrafted players that I ranked as draftable. You could say they got 11 draft picks and five decent prospects after the draft … and I wouldn’t argue with you.