Lions Come to Terms with OL Luke Marquardt

Luke Marquardt

The Lions have signed free agent offensive tackle Luke Marquardt, Brendan Savage of Mlive reports.

The 6-foot-8, 315-pound Marquardt was undrafted out of Azusa Pacific University, a Division II school near Los Angeles whose best-known player is former Kansas City Chiefs running back Christian Okoye.

Marquardt has yet to play in an NFL game

Marquardt originally signed with the San Francisco 49ers in 2013 but missed the entire season after re-fracturing the same foot that caused him to miss his final college season.

Lions to Workout Former Texans Running Back Arian Foster

Arian Foster

The Lions are still in the mix to add some veteran talent to the roster before camp starts, and one player they will take a look at is former Texans running back Arian Foster, who is looking for work after he was released on March 3rd.

He’s the Texans franchise all-time leader in yards and rushing touchdowns, as he finished his Texans career with 6,472 yards and 54 rushing touchdowns.

Right now the Lions running backs on the roster are Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Michael Burton (FB), Stevan Ridley, Zach Zenner, George Winn, and Dwayne Washington

Lions Bid Farewell to Veteran LB Stephen Tulloch

Stephen Tulloch

Tuesday the Lions finally released veteran linebacker Stephen Tulloch.

“As I have said numerous times since I became head coach of the Lions, Stephen Tulloch has been a consummate professional on and off the field,” coach Jim Caldwell said in a statement. “We thank him for his contributions to the Lions and the Detroit community and wish him the very best in all his future endeavors.”

The team has made it clear since February that Tulloch was not in their plans for 2016 but reportedly waiting for him to pass a physical before finally releasing him. The delay certainly won’t help the 31-year-old find another team as almost all of the free agent money is long-gone. Tulloch had been set to make $5.5 million, but will be lucky to get maybe a third of that in a new contract. The financial blow was slightly softened when the Lions paid his 2016 roster bonus.

A fourth-round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans out of North Carolina State in 2006, Tulloch spent the first five years of his NFL career in Nashville before signing a free agenbt deal with the Lions in in 2012. He has been extremely durable throughout his career other than an ACL tear in 2014 that limited him to three games. He returned from the injury to play all 16 games in 2015 but is no longer considered a three-down player.

Lions Close Out Draft with DL, LS and RB

The Lions used their last 2 picks in the 6th round on a versatile defensive lineman and a long snapper before closing it out with a running back.

Anthony Zettel is a DT/DE from Penn St that is undersized at DT, but inexperienced at DE.  He has a non-stop motor and very good quickness.  He will have the opportunity to compete for the Jason Jones role in the defense.  Early down DE to stuff the run and then slide inside on passing downs to rush from the interior.  This kid has a nose for the ball as he led Penn St in sacks and interceptions in a season as a defensive lineman.  He has a great chance to compete for a spot on the roster since the defensive end group is not crowded.

LS Jimmy Landes is best known for a trick shot video and he will be competing with long time LS Don Muhlbach for the job.

Dwayne Washington will be competing with Stevan Ridley and Zack Zenner for a roster spot in a crowded backfield.  Washington has quick feet and is a big bodied back that can catch the ball out of the backfield.

 

Lions Draft QB Jake Rudock with First 6th Round Pick

The Lions were going to take a QB in this draft and they elected to take Jake Rudock in the 6th round.  Rudock is an accurate passer but he rarely throws downfield.  He’s not my favorite pick with Brandon Allen and Jeff Driskel on the board.  Rudock needs to add bulk and also arm strength.  His slight build could lead to injuries if he does take the field.

I don’t think this selection will impact Dan Orlovsky in any way.  Orlovsky has game experience and the trust of the coaches.  Rudock is a developmental guy that may not even make the active roster, but find his way to the practice squad for development.

Anthony Kuehn can be found on Twitter @KuehnObserve

LB Antwione Williams is the 169th Pick

The Lions keep up with the tough guy theme with the 169th pick taking LB Antwione Williams.

Williams is an absolutely chiseled 245 lbs with very good straight line speed.  He doesn’t move laterally very well, so he could struggle in coverage, but he will fly sideline to sideline and clean up running backs.  He is a very good tackler and can add value as a blitzer.

Just like the rest of the picks, he’s a very mature kid with a very big presence in the locker room and the community.  Williams is another player that will add value on special teams while he develops.  Williams’ best case scenario is a strong run defender on first and second down and an occasional blitzer in sub packages.

Anthony Kuehn can be found on Twitter @KuehnObserve

Lions Draft OL Joe Dahl with Pick 151

The Lions go back to the well in the 5th round and take Joe Dahl.  Dahl played tackle in college, but there are some that believe he will kick inside to guard.  My personal belief is that Dahl is going to learn all the positions except center this year, then step into a swing tackle role with the possibility of replacing Riley Reiff next season if he leaves.

Dahl is an elite pass protector, but has little to no run blocking experience due to the scheme he played in college.  He’s going to require a lot of technique work and grooming in that regard.  He is a finesse style blocker that needs to add strength and refine some technique issues because he always played out of a 2-point stance.

The selection of Dahl basically seals the fate of any non-starter on the Lions’ offensive line.  Decker, Glasgow, Dahl and Geoff Schwartz are four new bodies that will be on the team this season.  Not much room elsewhere on the roster.

Here are 3 game film cut ups from DraftBreakdown.com

Joe Dahl

Anthony Kuehn can be found on Twitter @KuehnObserve

Lions Draft S Miles Killebrew with 111th Pick

The top need areas left to address in this draft for me were safety and defensive end.  I anticipated one of those two positions with the pick in the 4th round and the Lions did grab a safety with the 111th pick.  Miles Killebrew is a big time hitter and will compete for the strong safety spot, rather than add depth at free safety.  Killebrew is a big kid at 6’2″ 225 lbs. and he has very good straight line speed.  He is not as fluid in space, which will be an area he needs to work on.

He is a violent tackler and has great size to play in the box.  Some teams view him as an outside linebacker, others a safety and some view him as a dime linebacker.  Killebrew will come in and play special teams where his speed and tackling will be a huge asset.  Miles needs to learn to control his tackling at the next level since he’s not going to be knocking out NFL players with the same ease as he did in the Big Sky Conference.

Here are two game film cut ups courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com

Miles Killebrew

Anthony Kuehn can be found on Twitter @KuehnObserve