Five undrafted free agents who could make the Detroit Lions roster
Derrick Deese Jr., TE, San Jose State
Deese, Jr. is a big bodied tight end who has NFL pedigree, as he is the son of former 49ers’ offensive lineman and Super Bowl champion Derrick Deese. The younger Deese began his college career at Golden West College before transferring to San Jose State where he started every game of his junior and senior seasons. He accounted for nine touchdowns over those two seasons, and led the team in receptions, yards and touchdowns in 2021. Deese earned an invite to the East-West Shrine Bowl, where Pro Football Focus listed him as one of the top prospects to watch among tight ends.
After the additions of Garrett Griffin and James Mitchell this offseason, the Lions’ tight end room is starting to look a little better stocked with No. 1 guy T.J. Hockenson and Wright already in tow. In order to stick, Deese, Jr. needs to substantiate his abilities as a blocker.
The Athletic’s Nate Tice (formerly of Bleacher Report) noted Deese showed “legit play strength to block DEs from in-line positions” and he “plays with balance and can sustain once latched on.” If Deese features those abilities starting in rookie minicamp, in combination with his receiving chops, he may very well come out with a roster spot in August.