Detroit Lions sign WR Damian Copeland

The Detroit Lions signed free-agent WR Damian Copeland and released OG Andrew Zeller. Copeland will most likely just be a camp body, but the 6-foot-1, 182-pound slot wideout has the tools that are coveted by NFL teams. The Lions are very thin at the receiver position right now due to injuries, likely the reason for Copeland’s signing.

After going undrafted in 2014, Copeland signed on with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a priority rookie free agent. The 25-year old spent the last two years (2014-15) on injured reserve before being waived in March. Both season-ending injuries were upper body related (wrist, shoulder) and should not have affected his athleticism.

Before coming into the NFL, Copeland spent his four-year collegiate career at the University of Louisville (2009-13). He compiled his best season as a senior where he caught 52 passes for 690 yards while playing with division rival and current Minnesota Viking quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

At the 2014 NFL Combine, Copeland was a top performer in the explosion and quickness drills. Below are some of his impressive numbers:

  • 40-yard dash: 4.50-seconds
  • *Vertical jump: 40.0-inches
  • *3-cone drill: 6.53-seconds
  • *20-yard shuttle: 3.90 seconds
  • *60-yard shuttle: 10.84-seconds

(*) denotes top performer in 2014 NFL combine

It is not a good sign for any NFL hopeful with no experience to be cut in March and just now sign with a team, but it doesn’t mean a change of scenery can’t do him some good– crazier things have happened. Could this be new GM Bob Quinn‘s Patriot-esque diamond in the rough find?

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