Mathieu Betts bringing versatility to the table to bolster his chances for roster spot

The Lions knew about Mathieu Betts' pass rushing chops, but he's bringing more to the table at OTAs.

In search of pass rush help wherever they might be able to find it, the Detroit Lions signed reigning CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year Mathieu Betts back in February. He had a CFL-high 18 sacks for the BC Lions last season, in a breakout campaign after going undrafted in 2019 and making to final cuts with the Chicago Bears that year before heading to Canada.

In a broad sense, Betts' pass rush potential gives him a shot to earn a spot on the Lions' 53-man roster. General manager Brad Holmes acknowledged the challenge in scouting Betts, with the clear uptick in competition from the CFL to the NFL. Betts is also 29 years old, so there are easy questions about his long-term viability if he does stick with the Lions.

Dan Campbell lauds Mathieu Betts' surprising versatility

If Betts is going to win a roster spot, he'll show that he's more than just a pass rusher. To that end, via, Lions' head coach Dan Campbell talked about the versatility the former CFL star has shown. Even with no pads on until training camp, it feels meaningful.

"I would tell you there's, there again we're in pajamas, but there's more versatility than I think even I realized," Campbell said. "There's a couple things we're doing in coverage with him that, that wasn't his deal. He just got after the quarterback, period. We're asking him to do some things at the SAM linebacker position in base where, yeah he's a rush but he's also dropping in coverage. I tell you what, he's got some pretty good hips for a big man and he can run, he can run, and he's smart. So there's some versatility there."

"There’s some versatility there. And special teams, yes sir,” Campbell added about Betts, via Pride of Detroit.

It's a very brief look, but Betts is No. 95 in the clip below from Tuesday's practice going through what looks to be a coverage drill.

Betts has to show what he did in the CFL as a pass rusher can translate to the NFL, and that will the core thing with him. But the more someone on the proverbial fringes can do will give them a better chance to win a roster spot, and that Betts has been specifically mentioned by Campbell in a positive light is very good for him.

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