Detroit Lions sign seventh-round pick Oregon State RB Jermar Jefferson

Detroit Free Press

Two down, five to go.

The Detroit Lions signed their second draft pick before the start of rookie minicamp Friday, agreeing with seventh-round pick Jermar Jefferson to a four-year deal.

On Thursday, third-round pick Alim McNeill signed his four-year contract.

Rookie deals are slotted under the collective bargaining agreement, making holdouts rare. Still, the Lions have historically signed many of their draft picks before rookie minicamp, which runs Friday-Sunday in Allen Park.

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Jefferson ran for 2,923 yards and 27 touchdowns in three seasons at Oregon State. He had 1,380 yards as a true freshman in 2018, and averaged a career-best 6.5 yards per carry last season.

The Lions return D’Andre Swift as their starting running back and signed Jamaal Williams in free agency, but waived Kerryon Johnson last week, opening the No. 3 job for Jefferson.

The Philadelphia Eagles claimed Johnson on waivers.

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First-round pick Penei Sewell, second-rounder Levi Onwuzurike, third-round Ifeatu Melifonwu and fourth-rounders Amon-Ra St. Brown and Derrick Barnes remained unsigned for the Lions.

All but Sewell, who is out after testing positive for COVID-19, are expected to take part in minicamp this week.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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