Lions trying out multiple veteran players during rookie mini-camp


The Detroit Lions are hosting their rookie mini camp this weekend. In additions to the the rookies they drafted, their undrafted free agents they signed and some undrafted guys that they’ve invited to work out, the Lions will also be hosting multiple veteran players for try-outs. Here’s a look at each guy they’re working out. 

DL T.J. Smith

Smith was an undrafted rookie for the Chargers in 2020, but has spent the last three seasons in the NFC North with the Vikings. He’s mostly been on their practice squad. 

Smith doesn’t have ton of regular season experience. He’s played four total games. Last year he made two appearances for the Vikings. One against the Falcons and the other against the Packers. He played fairly well in both games. 

CB Harrison Hand

Hand was a fifth-round pick by the Vikings in 2020. In addition to his time with the Vikings, Hand has also played for the Giants and Bears. Hand did not play in the NFL last season and wasn’t invited to any training camps.  He’s played 27 regular season games and has started two of them. 

LB Darryl Johnson

Johnson was a seventh-round pick for the Bills in the 2019 NFL Draft. He spent two seasons with them before playing for the Panthers, Seahawks and 49ers. 

Johnson has played 38 regular season games and has started one. Like Hand, he hasn’t played since 2022. He did get invited to the 49ers camp last season though. He was injured early into camp and was released with an injury settlement

TE Parker Hesse

Another Iowa tight end. Hesse went undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft. He spent two seasons with the Titans before spending the last three years with the Falcons. 

He got seven starts in the 2022 season and it looked like he might become a bigger part of the Falcons offense as a blocking tight end, but in 2023 he was only active for three games. They did not bring him back this offseason. 

CB Kyler McMichael

Now we get to some of the younger players. McMichael was undrafted in 2022. The Buccaneers gave him a shot before cutting him. The Cardinals claimed him and he spent training camp with them before getting cut before the season. 

WR Kaden Davis

Here’s a name you might recognize if you’re a Michigan Panthers fan. Davis played there in 2023. In terms of NFL experience, Davis spent last season with the Cardinals and was elevated a couple times, but never hit the field. The Cards did sign him to a futures deal this year, but chose to part with him after the draft. 

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