On a list of rookie undrafted guys to watch for each team, Kalil Pimpleton has been deemed the one to watch for the Detroit Lions.
The Detroit Lions got contribution from some undrafted rookies last season, and some of this year’s UDFA crop seems to have a chance to stick. Despite what is now a deeper wide receiver room, Kalil Pimpleton out of Central Michigan is among those who could stick.
Pimpleton was a jack-of-all-trades for the Chippewas. Last season, he had 62 catches for 960 yards and four touchdowns, 84 rushing yards and two scores and 304 punt return yards and two touchdowns. In 2020, he had a passing touchdown and over his last two seasons he had five rushing touchdowns. In 2019, he had a MAC-leading 82 catches with over 1,100 all-purpose yards.
Kalil Pimpleton tabbed as the UDFA to watch for the Lions
Logan Ulrich of NFL Trade Rumors has tabbed one rookie UDFA to watch for each NFL team. Pimpleton was the guy for the Lions.
Though tagged with an a unfortunate surname, the diminutive Pimpleton was an electric player for Central Michigan last season. Despite standing a diminutive 5-7, he was an All-American as a return man and chipped in early 1,000 yards receiving as well. He has a game very similar to Bills speedster Isaiah McKenzie.
In terms of how many wide receivers the Lions keep on the final 53-man roster, there are some locks–Amon-Ra St. Brown, DJ Chark, Josh Reynolds, Kalif Raymond. Rookie Jameson Williams will make it too, unless he’s placed on the Physically Unable To Perform (PUP) to start the season. Quintez Cephus is somewhat on the roster bubble, with Trinity Benson and Tom Kennedy on the wrong side of that bubble right now.
Pimpleton drew a comparison to Raymond from Chris Burke of The Athletic. With a similar skill set, build and likely role (punt returns, etc.), Pimpleton could start to make a real push to unseat Raymond during mandatory minicamp this week, and right through training camp and preseason games.
Pimpleton is a strong candidate to stick around on the Lions’ practice squad if he doesn’t make the 53-man roster heading into Week 1. Of course assuming he makes it back to them to be placed there if they cut him, and another team doesn’t poach him off the practice squad for its active roster at any point.