Kalil Pimpleton, WR, Central Michigan
The speedy Muskegon, Michigan native began his college career at Virginia Tech before transferring to Central Michigan in 2018. In his three seasons with the Chippewas, Pimpleton was featured as a multi-purpose piece–catching passes, taking an occasional carry, throwing a pass here and there and returning punts. He scored a touchdown in all four ways at Central Michigan.
Pimpleton eclipsed 1,000 all-purpose yards in two out of three years at Central Michigan, and he might well have gone three-for-three if it weren’t for the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. At 5-foot-8, 172 pounds he is very undersized and, per NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, lacks “the catch radius and ball skills needed to take full advantage of his play speed.”
On a recent “One of These Years” podcast, The Athletic’s Chris Burke compared Pimpleton to current Lions’ receiver Kalif Raymond. Both players are small but versatile, the latter quality being a valuable one in trying to make an NFL roster. The Lions weren’t afraid to run a trick play or two last season, especially after Ben Johnson took over as passing game coordinator, and gadget players like Raymond and Pimpleton make those plays all the more possible.
The new-look Lions receiver room will make the local product’s chances of cracking the 53-man roster a challenge. But if he can show off some of the versatility he had at CMU, Pimpleton may very well push Raymond during training camp.