3 second-year Detroit Lions who are on notice as offseason work ramps up

Credit: Nic Antaya/Getty Images
Credit: Nic Antaya/Getty Images /
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Jermar Jefferson, Detroit Lions
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

3. RB Jermar Jefferson

Jefferson was drafted 257th overall (seventh round) by the Lions in the 2021 draft. He wound up suiting up for seven games as a rookie, making his NFL debut in a Week 6 blowout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and seeing his first carry in his next appearance–a Week 8 blowout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Halloween. He also had four receptions in that latter game, his only catches of the season, in what would be his most extensive action (11 offensive snaps)

Jefferson scored touchdowns in back-to-back games starting with that game against the Eagles. He had five carries in two of the final three games he suited up for (Week 13 and Week 15). All told he had 15 carries for 74 yards and those two scores on the ground over 36 offensive snaps, while also playing 12 special teams snaps.

Three spots on the Lions’ running back depth chart feel locked in–D’Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams and Craig Reynolds. Godwin Igwebuike should be vulnerable to losing his roster spot, but he adds  value as a kickoff return option and was a core special teamer last season. The Lions also added running back Greg Bell out of San Diego State as an undrafted free agent, with enough guaranteed money given to him ($100,000) to seem to make him an automatic factor for a roster spot.

With little work available on the offensive side and the Lions seemingly having no use for him as a special teamer based on last year, Jefferson is on a hot seat. Maybe he steps up big, or he could be a pretty early cut.