Devin Funchess is transitioning to tight end in camp with the Detroit Lions, and he really couldn’t have had a better start.
Devin Funchess last played an NFL regular season game in Week 1 of the 2019 season. After an opt-out of the 2020 campaign and never getting traction anywhere last year, he was a certified flier for the Detroit Lions.
Oh, and he was also going to make a position switch from wide receiver to tight end. Based on the skill set he had previously shown, going back to his days at the University of Michigan, the pass-catching parts of the role would seem easy for him.
Funchess has not stood out in training camp to this point, which certainly had him on the list of potential first cuts for the Lions. Until Friday night’s preseason opener, anyway.
Funchess played 21 snaps against the Falcons, with four receptions for 19 yards and a touchdown.
He had a couple highlight-worthy plays.
Devin Funchess credits daughter’s new activity for broadening his skill set
Funchess was fairly, for lack of a better word, graceful in hurdling that Falcons’ defender on Friday night. After the game, via Heavy.com, he noted why he looked so at ease leaving his feet.
His daugter is in gymnastics.
I’ve been doing the natural (the) last 18 months. My daughter wanted to do it so I said I’ll go try it out before she gets into it to make sure it was safe. It helped me out a little bit with what I do, and she had fun with it too so it’s a family affair.
Funchess cited what gymnastics training has especially helped him with.
Just spacial awareness, understanding where you are in the air of course, everything. I could just basically slow time down,”
Behind T.J. Hockenson, the Lions have a logjam of tight ends with several players vying for what’s likely to be two or three roster spots. Funchess is still a longshot, but he made the most of an opportunity against Atlanta and his transition to tight end got off the ground pretty well in game action.