General manager Brad Holmes and the Detroit Lions got to work following the conclusion of the seventh round of the NFL Draft, working the phones to sign undrafted free agents.
Holmes told the Twentyman in the Huddle podcast after the draft he was excited about this year's group of undrafted free-agent signings, and three players they secured were actually on their draft board, though he opted not to go into specific names until the players were signed and in the building for rookie minicamp this weekend.
The Lions had a number of undrafted free agents make big impacts over Holmes' first couple years in Detroit, including cornerback Jerry Jacobs and tight end Brock Wright. Can Holmes find more contributors in 2023?
Here's a closer look at the undrafted free agents the Lions have signed:
OL Brad Cecil, South Florida: Played 53 games and made 50 starts, primarily at center, in five seasons to tie for second all-time at USF in both categories.
WR Chase Cota, Oregon: A UCLA transfer in 2023, Cota set career-highs with 36 receptions for 497 yards last season in his one year at Oregon.
View photos from offseason workouts on Wednesday, May 10, 2023.
LB Isaac Darkangelo, Illinois: A Detroit Catholic Central grad, Darkangelo notched 71 tackles (42 solo) with 7.5 tackles for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery in 13 games for the Illini in 2022.
DL Cory Durden, North Carolina State: Started his career at Florida State and transferred to NCS in 2021. He recorded 27 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a pass defended in 13 games last season. He had 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in 2021.
OL Connor Galvin, Baylor: The Big 12 Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year was a 14-game starter in 2021. Galvin was a second team all-league selection as a senior, starting all 13 games at left tackle to set a school record with 50 career starts.
CB Steven Gilmore, Marshall: Gilmore has terrific length at over six foot tall with a history of good ball production. He's produced seven interceptions and 29 passes defended in the last three seasons at Marshall.
RB Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota: Set a Minnesota record with 1,665 yards rushing and 320 carries (5.2 average) last season with 20 touchdowns. Notched 53 career touchdowns and 24 100-yard rushing games in five seasons for the Golden Gophers.
S Brandon Joseph, Notre Dame: Transferred to Notre Dame in 2022 after earning All-American honors with six interceptions at Northwestern in 2020. Had an interception he returned for a touchdown for the Irish last season and also returns punts.
QB Adrian Martinez, Kansas State: Martinez, who reportedly visited with the Lions in the pre-draft process, threw for 1,261 yards and ran for 627 more and 10 touchdowns for the Wildcats last season. Before transferring to Kansas State, he set a Nebraska record with 10,792 yards of total offense.
DL Zach Morton, Akron: Morton had 28 tackles (12 solo), eight tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks for the Zips. He started his career at Syracuse before transferring to Akron in 2021.
LB Trevor Nowaske, Saginaw Valley State: Played in 11 games in 2022 and recorded 98 tackles (48 solo) with 9.5 tackles for loss and one sack. Also led the Cardinals with four interceptions and seven pass breakups.
DL Chris Smith, Notre Dame: A Harvard transfer, Smith played in 13 games making five starts in his lone season at Notre Dame. Recorded 17 total tackles and a forced fumble, and was a key contributor on the defensive goal line unit.
OL Ryan Swoboda, Central Florida: Started 11 of UVA's 12 games at right tackle. Was part of a UVA line that helped Virginia average 515.8 yards of total offense, the third most of any FBS program. Measured in at 6-foot-9, 319 pounds at the Combine.
CB Starling Thomas V, Alabama-Birmingham: Had 23 pass breakups the past two seasons after missing 2020 with a knee injury. Also returned punts and kickoffs at UAB.
WR Keytaon Thompson, Virginia: A big target (6-4, 215), Thompson started the first eight games of the 2022 season before missing the final two due to injury. Led the Cavaliers in receptions (53) and receiving yards (579) and was second in the ACC and 12th in the nation with 6.6 receptions per game. He had 78 catches for 990 yards in 2021.