Lions’ Zach Zenner: Ready for his opportunity

When the 2015 NFL Draft was completed, Zach Zenner‘s name was still on the board. There was definitely a level of disappointment in the Zenner camp when his name was not called, especially considering the career he had at South Dakota State. How can a running back who rushed for over 2,000 yards in three consecutive seasons not get drafted? Could it end up being the best case scenario for Zenner?

The 5-foot-11, 223 pound running back eventually signed with the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent and looks to make the best of his opportunity. Following the Lions rookie minicamp in May, Lions head coach Jim Caldwell expressed his feelings about Zenner.

“Highly-productive guy out of college, obviously, with 2,000 yards in three-consecutive seasons. He’s a very, very talented guy from that standpoint. He learns well, he’s not one-dimensional, he can catch the ball as well. He’s got size, you know, 218 pounds. I think he may be 224 right now, but played at about 218, so he’s got a lot of positive traits.”

Now in his first NFL Training Camp, Zenner knows he will be given a fair shot by the Lions to make the team.

“It makes it an even better place to be really because this is a staff that, in my opinion, you know, that whether you are undrafted or drafted, they are going to give you an opportunity,” Zenner said.

Cracking the 53-man roster for the Lions is going to be one of the biggest challenges Zenner has ever faced in his athletic career. Joique Bell, Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick are virtual locks to make the roster and the team will likely carry four backs total. The battle for the fourth spot will likely come down to Zenner and George Winn. Zenner will have to prove himself capable of playing special teams if he wants to make a strong case to make the team over Winn.

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Regardless if Zenner makes the roster out of camp, it is a safe bet that he will eventually find his way onto an NFL roster. It is also a safe bet that he will make the best of whatever opportunity he is given.

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