A Look At The Detroit Lions Signing Of Free Agent Marcus Lucas.
The Detroit Lions are continuing to add competition to their tight end group for training camp with the addition of free agent Marcus Lucas. He earned 1,638 receiving yards, 11 receiving touchdowns, on 130 receptions during his time in college at Mizzou. Following a productive college career, Lucas went undrafted in 2014 before signing with the Carolina Panthers as a UDFA. This fall was largely he was likely limited as only a receiving tight end in the NFL.
Coming out for the NFL Draft in 2014, one of his biggest detractions was that he played like a big wide receiver. He really struggled to block with an sort of consistency in the SEC. He lacked the strength, footwork, and tenacity to hold the edge well at Mizzou. While he did show ability to produce in the pass-catching tight end role, athletic limitations hurt his potential to develop even his strongest area.
This is what has led to Lucas being on several teams before landing in Detroit, at the age of 26. Several teams have looked at his as a develop-able player worthy of stashing on their practice squad before cutting him. He went from Carolina, to the Miami Dolphins for one day in the fall of 2015 before being released. From Miami, he traveled to the Lions division rival Chicago Bears. This was followed by a return to Carolina, before bouncing around to the Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts, and Oakland Raiders.
Uphill Battle For Marcus Lucas May Be Too Steep
Now in 2018, Lucas will again be competing for a roster spot. Now that he has accumulated too be placed on the practice squad, he will have to try to make the team outright. While the Lions weakest position right now is the tight end position, he has arguably the biggest hill to climb of his career this off-season.
The Lions already have a much more polished and athletic version of Lucas in Luke Willson. Michael Roberts fills the “do-it-all” tight end role, with Toilolo likely to be the blocking tight end heading into week one of the 2018 season. This is not to say that Lucas has no shot to make the team, but rather that he will have to prove he has made strides in his blocking or receiving ability if he wants to stand out among the other tight ends in the Detroit locker-room.