Three UDFA’s that could impress at Lions rookie minicamp

As teams across the NFL welcome their rookies to their rookie mini-camp, the Detroit Lions will be doing the same today. They will be getting their first look at the rookies they have on the roster. From the 6 players they drafted to 30 other players that signed as undrafted free agents (UDFA) or trying out for the team, the competition will be real.

That’s one thing we’ve learned from the Lions coaching staff over the years and is they want competition. That competition has opened doors of opportunities for veteran players such as Kalif Raymond, John Cominsky and others.

While I can’t wait to see how Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw play this summer, I’m really excited to see a couple of undrafted players compete. Let’s take a look at three UDFA’s that could impress over the next few days at Lions rookie mini-camp.

Illinois WR Isaiah Williams

Starting with a player that has a clear path to becoming a number 4 or number 5 receiver on the roster. Isaiah Williams from Illinois should get a chance to crack the 53-man roster.

He’s listed 5’10” and 186 pounds and is more of a gadget player than anything else. However, he posted 82 receptions in consecutive seasons at Illinois and is tough over the middle of the field.

While he doesn’t have blazing speed, he plays faster than he tested. Additionally, the usage and ability to move him around offensive formations could bode well for him with Ben Johnson as the offensive coordinator. Even though it does sound like Brad Holmes is content with Antoine Green and Donovan Peoples-Jones, it wouldn’t be surprising if Williams forces the Lions to make some difficult decisions in August.

Ole Miss EDGE Isaac Ukwu

One thing we’ve learned with Dan Campbell and Aaron Glenn, they have a type for their defensive front. Ole Miss EDGE Isaac Ukwu certainly fits that type of player.

Listed at 6’3″ and 258 pounds, I’ve only watched one game of him up to this point. He’s not been overly impressive but there are certainly flashes. His ability to hit a ghost rush or dip his shoulder and turn the corner to pressure the quarterback is fun to watch.

Ukwu needs to get stronger against the run. Primarily with recognizing blocks faster and staying square to the opposition. That will all come with time but the chance to compete is important and Ukwu will get that chance. I could see a scenario where he finds himself in some type of rotation with Mathieu Betts, James Houston and Josh Paschal.

Florida IOL Kingsley Eguakan

Finding a backup center should be a goal for the Lions this summer. While it’s nice to rely on Graham Glasgow, it’s important to have multiple options on the interior part of your offensive line.

When looking at Kingsley Eguakan, he was a player that I watched a few weeks prior to the Senior Bowl and he impressed me enough that I thought he would be drafted. Unfortunately, he didn’t and he now finds himself in Detroit with a clear opportunity to earn the backup role at center.

Eguakan is 6’3″ and 307 pounds and he put up 26 reps on the bench press at the Scouting Combine. His frame appears to be somewhat maxed out but he’s a strong finisher in the run game. One of the biggest concerns with him was health as he battled through an ankle injury for most of last season. He’ll need to get stronger and he’ll have to improve his pad level. However, there’s much to be desired with his skill-set as a developmental prospect.

Story originally appeared on Lions Wire