5 Detroit Lions candidates to be cut going into the summer
1. TE Shane Zylstra
It’s a well-worn sentiment here and elsewhere by now, but the Lions’ tight end was begging for a talent injection and the draft brought one in Sam LaPorta. LaPorta has an opportunity to immediately become the TE1, and even if he’s not technically listed atop the depth chart he is in lin for a notable role.
So with the notable addition to the depth chart, comes a shift in the pecking order and questions over who may or may not stick around.
Zylstra, and Lions’ fans, will always have the memory of his three-touchdown outburst against the Carolina Panthers last season. But in his other career games, combined, he has one touchdown (also last season) and nine catches for 68 yards.
The Lions seem to like Brock Wright a lot, it’s just that he’s not a No. 1 tight end on a good team. James Mitchell has latent and interesting potential coming off a somewhat truncated rookie season, driven by the recovery from a torn ACL in his final college season. Derrick Deese Jr. could stick around for a bit through offseason work, after being an interesting undrafted signing last year.
So that leaves Zylstra, as the TE3? in a best-case scenario but most likely the TE4 for the Lions. Being let go and eventually coming back on the practice squad if other opportunities dry up is definitely possible. But Zystra is a pretty easy No. 1 for this list heading into the summer.