The Detroit Lions tryout featured a few players with whom college football fans in Michigan might be familiar.
Initially reported by Howard Balzer on Wednesday, the Detroit Lions worked out a bevy of players this week. Michigan State University wide receivers Aaron Burbridge and Bennie Fowler, along with former WR-turned-cornerback, Tony Lippett, led the list of eight players at the Lions tryout this week.
Lions tryouts: WRs Deontez Alexander, Aaron Burbridge, Bennie Fowler; TEs Blake Bell, Clive Walford; QBs Landry Jones, Nic Shimonek; CB Tony Lippett.
— Howard Balzer (@HBalzer721) October 10, 2018
Lippett and Burbridge have both spent extensive time on IR since being late-round draft selections in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Bennie Fowler has three seasons worth of experience in Denver where he famously caught Peyton Manning’s final pass in Super Bowl 50. He spent brief stints with the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots this past offseason before being released in mid-September by the latter.
Joining the hometown crowd were a number of Big 12 standouts, including former Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback, Landry Jones. Joining Jones was undrafted Nic Shimonek, a rookie quarterback out of Texas Tech. Blake Bell, Jones’ successor and Oklahoma’s precursor to Trevor Knight, now a tight end, rounded out the former-Big 12 representatives.
Deontez Alexander, a gritty wide receiver with recent ties to the Detroit Lions attended tryouts with the receiving corps. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network explained back in May why Alexander might be a rare gem:
“Coming out of high school, Alexander chose to stay close to home, his dad was going through a major medical issue, so he goes down the road to Anderson University, where the Indianapolis Colts used to have training camp. Spends two years there, then transfers to Franklin, it’s a school of about a thousand people. They play Division III football, he put up huge numbers, 33 touchdown catches over two seasons,”
Clive Walford joined Bell as another tight end in tryouts. His history with the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders gave him the inside track to tryouts with the Bengals, Seahawks, and Lions all within the past week. Cincinnati has a high need for depth at the position with Tyler Eifert’s gruesome injury.