TWENTYMAN: Lions host trio of pre-draft prospects

Posted Apr 15, 2014

Cornerback Kyle Fuller (Virginia Tech), tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Washington) and kicker Nate Freese (Boston College) all visited with Lions coaches and front office staff on Tuesday.

The Detroit Lions continue to do their homework on college prospects available in next month's NFL draft, hosting three more prospects in Allen Park Tuesday.

Cornerback Kyle Fuller (Virginia Tech), tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Washington) and kicker Nate Freese (Boston College) all visited with Lions coaches and front office staff.


Nate FreeseK Nate Freese (Photo: AP Images)

Excuse Freese if he can’t immediately recall the last time he’s missed a field goal.

The nation's top field-goal kicker made all 20 of his attempts last season, including six from 40-plus yards and two from beyond 50 yards.

“I was talking with coach about that today, actually, and I can’t really remember,” Freese told when asked about his last miss. “I think it may have been Wake Forest my junior year.”

Freese connected on 18 of 20 attempts as a junior and finished his career 70 of 81 (86.4 percent) in 50 games. He holds the school record for field goals and points (324).

“The No. 1 thing we need to do is find a kicker,” Lions special teams coach John Bonamego said at a town hall meeting at Ford Field Monday night. “From a scouting standpoint, it’s our top priority in my department.

“We have two guys on the roster right now that both have some experience. We’ll evaluate those guys in this upcoming period and we’ll compare them to the guys that are coming up in the draft, the draft-eligible guys, and we’ll find one.”

The team has John Potter and Giorgio Tavecchio on the roster, but might not be done adding to the position


Before he started the pre-draft visit process, Fuller had the benefit of being able to ask brothers Vincent (former NFL player) and Corey (current Lions receiver) about what he could expect.

It’s an advantage not a lot of players get.

He obviously comes from good stock and will be the third Fuller brother to enter the NFL next month.

He ran a 4.49-second 40-yard dash at February’s NFL combine. At 6-foot, 190 pounds, Fuller is considered a probable first- or second-round pick.

He’s a physical corner who fit nicely as a slot corner early on in his career. He had 24 tackles, two interceptions and 10 breakups in his final season at Virginia Tech.

A fourth Fuller brother, Kendall, was a second-team All-ACC performer as a freshman cornerback at Virginia Tech this past season after recording six interceptions.


Seferian-Jenkins was the John Mackey Award winner (nation's top tight end) last year and a third-team All-American after catching 36 passes for 450 yards and eight touchdowns.

As a sophomore, however, he caught 69 passes for 850 yards and seven touchdowns.

He holds Washington school records for most receptions (146), receiving yards (1,840) and touchdown receptions (21) by a tight end.

Seferian-Jenkins, 6-foot-5, 262 pounds, was all set to compete in February’s NFL Scouting in Indianapolis but a pre-existing stress fracture in his foot required surgery.

He still has to prove to teams that the measurables match the production, but he’s an interesting late first- to second-round prospect.

The Lions have Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria under contract, but continue to look at tight end prospects leading up to the draft.