Tuesdays are tryout day for NFL teams most weeks, with players having the day off. Per Tuesday's transaction wire, the Detroit Lions had three players in for a tryout-defensive end Mathieu Betts, and cornerbacks Thomas Graham and Jace Whittaker. None have been signed as of Wednesday afternoon.
Graham lands as a somewhat familiar name. He was a sixth-round pick by the Chicago Bears in 2021, playing in four games with one start as a rookie. He spent last season with the Cleveland Browns, playing in seven games.
Whittaker went undrafted in 2020. Over three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, he played in a total of 12 games with four starts that all came in 2022..
Jerry Jacobs leaving last week's game against the Denver Broncos with a hamstring injury, and not practicing Wednesday, seems to have the Lions kicking the tires on some cornerback depth.
Lions host reigning CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player
But the proverbial headliner of Tuesday's tryouts has to be Betts. The reigning CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player, he had a breakout campaign with a league-leading 18 sacks for the BC Lions last season. In his first season with BC, 2022, he had seven sacks. He spent his first two seasons north of the border (2019 and 2021) with the Edmonton Eskimos/Elks.
Betts, a native of Montreal, participated in the East-West Shrine Game in 2019. He was signed by the Bears as an undrafted free agent, and made it to final roster cuts in late-August before heading north.
Check out some Betts' highlights from last season.
Aidan Hutchinson is third in the NFL in quarterback pressures this season with 81 (according to Pro Football Focus), while the Lions have gotten little to nothing from a rotating cast of other edge rushers. Bruce Irvin has provided some spark in two games as a Lion, and James Houston could come off IR soon. But Betts is certainly an interesting possibility to add to the pass rush.