Detroit 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.
Tags: Darren Keyton
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