Lions sign tryout center/guard Darren Keyton to 90-man roster

Posted by ttwentyman on May 13, 2013 – 2:10 pm

Darren KeytonDetroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said Sunday, after his team had concluded it’s third and final practice of a three-day rookie mini-camp, that all 49 players who participated in the camp had impressed him in some way.

I just told those guys that every single guy that was here improved their status, whatever that status was,” he said.

“We think more of them after this rookie mini-camp than we did coming into it. We got a chance to see them work. All of our draft picks, we’re pleased with all of our draft picks coming out of this, pleased with the undrafted guys that have come in.”

The Lions entered the weekend with 11 undrafted free agents on the roster. Monday, they added one more to the list by signing tryout guard/center Darren Keyton to the 90-man roster. Keyton signed a three-year deal, which is standard for undrafted rookies per the CBA.

Keyton, 6-foot-3, 305, was one of 21 players who attended the rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis. The former Central Michigan standout started all 13 games at right guard as a senior and helped anchor an offensive line that allowed just 15 sacks, which ranked No. 17 nationally.

He started 12 games at center as a junior, eight at right guard as a sophomore and three at center as a true freshman, so he has the multidimensional skills the Lions covet with their interior lineman.

“When you’re an interior offensive lineman, that’s an important thing,” Schwartz said. “You have to have the flexibility to play guard or center.

“Typically, you take seven offensive linemen into a game, so somebody’s got to play center if your center gets hurt. Usually, it’s one of your guards or your back up. But the more you can with stuff like that, the better.”

The Lions currently have an open competition at both right guard and center along their revamped offensive line.

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Lions sign tryout center/guard Darren Keyton to 90-man roster”

  1. By The Only on May 13, 2013 | Reply


  2. By rockbo1955 on May 13, 2013 | Reply

    I am so glad we got another center and this will the tuff when they begin the cut down there a bunch of really good players could be some surprise on the roster!

  3. By Black Wolf Standing on May 16, 2013 | Reply

    You always invite guys to the 90 man roster who you think might have a shot to make the 53 man team. This also gives the Lions phone numbers to call during the season when the injury bug hits.

    There is a reason some guys are perpetually left off rosters. It’s called lack of talent. Sometimes it’s only a very narrow gap in the player’s game that keeps them from making any team. When that player gets the call, the coaching staff has to find ways to hide that weakness. You only can hide weaknesses from so many players before the whole house of cards come tumbling down like last year.

    More than likely any surprises in the roster will be backups. And some of that will because of cap considerations rather than talent. The shell game must go on!

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