With the 2021 NFL draft in the books, the Detroit Lions are working on the “eighth” round. The Lions currently have 72 players on their roster, which means they could sign more than a dozen undrafted free agents.
Here is a look at players confirmed or reported to be in this year’s class:
• Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest: Surratt topped 1,000 yards receiving as a sophomore in 2019 before opting out of the 202 season. His older brother, Chazz, was a third-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings. His agents, SportsTrust Advisors, announced his signing.
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• Jonathan Adams, WR, Arkansas State: Adams is a big target at 6-2 and 210 pounds with the ability to win jump balls down field. The reigning Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year, he had 1,111 yards receiving in 2020. He announced his signing on Twitter.
• Javon McKinley, WR, Notre Dame: Another big target, McKinley led Notre Dame with 717 yards receiving on 42 catches last season. He received a $15,000 signing bonus and $85,000 in base salary guarantees, according to NFL reporter Aaron Wilson.
• Tavante Beckett, LB, Marshall: A Virginia Tech transfer, Beckett played his final two college seasons at Marshall, where he made 212 tackles and had 4.5 sacks. An undersized 5 feet 10 and 214 pounds, he may move to safety in the NFL. His agency, Logan Brown Sports, announced his signing.
• Drake Jackson, C, Kentucky: A four-year starter at center, Jackson was a first-team All-SEC selection in 2020. Played alongside Lions’ fourth-round pick, Logan Stenberg, in 2019. NFL Network reported his signing.
• A.J. Parker, CB, Kansas State: Made 33 career starts for the Wildcats, where he saw time at slot and outside cornerback. Had six career interceptions, including a 37-yarder returned for a touchdown last year. NFL Network reported his signing.
• Brock Wright, TE, Notre Dame: A former top recruit, Wright was used largely in a blocking role at Notre Dame, where he caught just seven passes for 78 yards in his four-year career. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly announced Wright’s signing on Twitter.
• Dedrick Mills, RB, Nebraska: A Georgia Tech transfer, Mills played two seasons at Nebraska after a stint in junior college. Ran for 396 yards in six games last season, when he missed time with injuries. Mills’ signing was first reported by the Lincoln Star Journal.
• Rakeem Boyd, RB, Arkansas: After a breakout 2019 season in which he averaged 6.2 yards per carry, Boyd missed time last season because of injury and COVID-19 protocols. He first gained fame in the junior college ranks on the Netflix series “Last Chance U.” He indicated on Twitter he is joining the Lions, though it is not clear if he is signing as a UDFA or coming as a tryout player.
• D’Angelo Amos, S, Virginia: Amos played the 2020 season at Virginia as a graduate transfer from James Madison. He made five starts in the secondary, but garnered interest as a prospect as a return man. At James Madison, he returned five punts for touchdowns. The University of Virginia announced Amos’ signing.
• Tommy Kraemer, OG, Notre Dame: A four-year starter for the Irish, Kraemer earned third-team All-America honors in 2020. He allowed just one quarterback hit in 2019 before suffering a season-ending knee injury against Michigan. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly announced Kraemer’s signing.
• Jerry Jacobs, CB, Arkansas: Jacobs opted out of last season after suffering an injury against Auburn. He transferred from Arkansas State, where he had four interceptions in two seasons. The University of Arkansas announced Jacobs’ signing.