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TWENTYMAN: A closer look at the Lions' undrafted rookie free agents

Before the draft was even over, the Lions front office and coaching staff got on the phones with players they wanted to potentially sign as undrafted rookie free agents.

That market is always an important one when it comes to roster building.

The Lions carried a few undrafted free agents into the season last year, including running back Tion Green, defensive end Jeremiah Valoaga, defensive end Alex Barrett and tackle Storm Norton.

The Lions signed 16 rookie free agents this year. Maybe a few of these names can help their football team in 2018 and beyond:

Al-Rasheed Benton, LB, West Virginia: Started all 13 games at the MIKE last season, and finished second on the team in tackles with 80. He played in 39 career games and started 14.

Amari Coleman, CB, Central Michigan: An undersized cornerback with good quickness and ball skills. Coleman recorded seven interceptions the last two years for the Chippewas.

Antwuan Davis, CB, Texas: Davis played in 44 career games at Texas with 10 starts. He has terrific size at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds. He ran the 40-yard dash in the high 4.4 to low 4.5 range, and put up 28 reps on the bench press at his pro day.

Josh Fatu, DT, USC: Fatu had 34 tackles last season in the middle of the Trojans defensive line. He also chipped in eight tackles for loss and six sacks. He won USC's John McKay Award, and was named All-Pac-12 honorable mention.

Mike Ford, CB, SE Missouri State: A converted receiver with just three years of experience playing cornerback. Ford started all 11 games in 2017, intercepting one pass and breaking up a team-high 14 others to go along with 32 tackles, five tackles for loss and two sacks.

DeAndre Goolsby, TE, Florida: Goolsby (6-5, 240) played in all 11 games last season (two starts), and totaled 13 catches for 105 yards and one touchdown. He caught 38 passes for 342 yards and three scores as a junior.

Chris Jones, CB, Nebraska: Jones has good size at 6-foot, 200 pounds. The 2016 All-Big Ten honorable mention selection suffered a knee injury last summer and missed the first seven games of the season. He had three interceptions and defended 10 passes as a junior.

Kyle Lewis, WR, Cal-Poly: A running back and receiver who racked up 1,165 rushing yards and 1,079 receiving yards in 52 career games. Ran the 40 in 4.46-seconds and had a 37-inch vertical and 129-inch broad jump at his pro day.

Chad Meredith, LB, SE Missouri State: Played in eight games last season and finished with 44 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, one sack and four quarterback hits.

John Montelus, OL, Virginia: A Notre Dame transfer, Montelus appeared in all 13 of UVA's games this past season with 10 starts, all at left guard. He was credited with 15 knockdown blocks on the season.

Beau Nunn, OL, Appalachian State: Nunn started 41 of his 43 college games at Appalachian State. He allowed the fewest quarterback pressures (four) of any FBS offensive tackle (out of 179 players) with at least 300 pass-block snaps.

Brandon Powell, WR, Florida: Powell (5-9, 181) joins the Lions after leading Florida with 42 receptions to go along with 406 receiving yards and three touchdowns last season.

Teo Redding, WR, Bowling Green: A Second Team All-MAC performer, Redding (6-2, 176), led Bowling Green in receiving touchdowns with eight last season. He was second on the team with 624 receiving yards and 45 receptions.

Ryan Santosa, P, Minnesota: Santosa punted 144 times and averaged 41.8 yards (fourth-best in school history), placing 46 punts inside the 20. He also made 29-of-39 field goals with a career-long field goal of 52 yards.

Anthony Sherrils, S, Missouri: Sherrils played in 11 games last season, and recorded 63 tackles and a couple interceptions. He recorded at least 53 tackles in each of his last three years at Missouri.

JoJo Wicker, DL, Arizona State: Wicker was a 13-game starter and a Second-Team All- PAC 12 pick in 2017 after posting 42 tackles, a team-high 13 tackles for loss and six sacks.

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