5 undrafted rookies who could steal a spot on Detroit Lions' 53-man roster

Among the undrafted rookies the Lions have signed, keep an eye on these five in particular in the upcoming battle for roster spots.
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2. Morice Norris, DB, Fresno State

The Lions, however notably, did not draft a safety. So depth there is a definite issue that will be addressed in some fashion. They had some interest in Norris during the pre-draft process, taking him to dinner after Fresno State's Pro Day, so signing him as a UDFA wasn't a shocker.

Norris was primarily a slot/nickel corner over two years of action at Fresno State, but he lined up on the outside, in the box, as an outside linebacker and as a free safety too. He had 57 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, one sack and six pass breakups in 2022, then he produced even more last season (59 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 10 pass breakups, two interceptions).

Norris navigated adversity to become a productive college player and draft prospect. The opportunity seems to be in front of him to come in and take a spot on the Lions' roster, and he just might get it done.

1. James Turner, PK, Michigan

The Lions did not draft a kicker, and it's fair to say Turner was not the top undrafted kicker available (Missouri's Harrison Mevis reportedly got a multi-year deal from the Carolina Panthers, presumably with some guaranteed money). The Lions doled out guaranteed money to some other UDFAs rather than pony up anything for Mevis.

But at least there's some "competition" coming in for Badgley now. Turner helped Michigan win the national title last year, and overall he was very good in three of his four college seasons. But the middle of his three seasons at Louisville, when he made less than 64 percent of his field goals, was notable as an outlier, if nothing else. Was he battling an injury? Did he just have a one-year case of the yips? His final two years suggest it was just a fluke.

Based on the sheer opportunity that should be there for him, with Badgley ripe to be replaced until he finally is, Turner is the top UDFA who can come in and win a spot on the Lions' 53-man roster right now. Hopefully he will get a legitimate opportunity to beat out Badgley, but in the moment it's hard to feel like he will.


Next. Detroit Lions UDFA tracker: Every undrafted free agent the Lions have signed. Detroit Lions UDFA tracker: Every undrafted free agent the Lions have signed. dark