Undrafted free agents do not get much play in the media, but undoubtedly, some of these guys end up making it. And, even getting this far is quite an accomplishment.
According to calculations by the NFL Players Association, the chances of any high school football player making it to the NFL is about 0.2 percent.
It is for that reason that all 14 of the Lions' undrafted players this year deserve to be mentioned: WR Jonathan Adams, S D'Angelo Amos, LB Tavante Beckett, RB Rakeem Boyd, TE Jake Hausmann, C Drake Jackson, CB Jerry Jacobs, G Tommy Kraemer, WR Javon McKinley, RB Dedrick Mills, CB AJ Parker, Safety Nick Pickett, WR Sage Surratt and TE Brock Wright.
I am betting that four of them make the final cut.
RG Tommy Kraemer (Notre Dame) - 6-foot-5, 317 pounds
Someone needs to call 911. The Lions stole this guy.
Kraemer has a tall and physically strong frame. He showed he could hold his own against Clemson and Alabama, which included going up against DT Christian Barmore (who was taken 38th overall by New England). He sets up with a nice wide and sturdy, well-balanced base -- nobody is going to bull rush him. He's a real fighter who plays until the whistle blows. The kind of guy who is going to capture Lions head coach Dan Campbell's attention -- and probably his heart, as well.
Kraemer consistently showed the ability to pick up stunts and blitzes, and he also worked well in tandem blocks. He moves around well enough, and he can get to the second level and get out in front on screens. Kraemer won most of his snaps in these games, and he will be a starter in the NFL.
Right guards tend to slide in the draft because the position is not as sexy. But, I would have given him a third-round grade pre-draft based on what I saw. Kraemer may end up being the starting RG -- and sooner rather than later -- especially if "Big V" cannot avoid the injury bug.
CB A.J. Parker (Kansas State University) - 5-foot-11, 178 pounds
40-yard dash time: 4.54
Playing corner in the National Football League is all about having swag and confidence, and this guy is oozing with both. He also has athletic ability and a knack for being a ball hawk and a play-maker, and it is those qualities that help teams win games.
Parker is a very intriguing and opportunistic prospect who ends up at the right place at the right time a lot. He recorded six interceptions and 17 passes defensed while at Kansas State. Looks more like a receiver out there who is playing corner. He shows good ball skills and instincts. And, while he has a diminutive-looking frame, he is a real hitter. He actually loves contact. He totaled 145 tackles -- 118 of those solo and 8.5 of them for a loss -- during his time at Kansas State. Parker also showed he can come off the edge and block a punt, and he looked pretty sharp doing it against Oklahoma. He plays football faster than his recorded time. All in all, Parker, to me, looks like the fourth corner on the Lions' depth chart.
WR Jonathan Adams (Arkansas State) - 6-foot-3, 220 pounds
40-yard dash time: 4.59
Shades of Calvin Johnson went through my mind watching the film. Adams plays big, and he is an aggressive, physical and passionate receiver, who possesses strong hands, excellent ball skills and instincts.
He put on an absolute clinic vs. Kansas State. A demonstrative receiver with average-looking football playing speed, which is why he slid in the draft. However, he really seems to know how to work corners.
Detroit is weak at receiver, which is what will allow this guy to make the roster out of training camp. He has shown he can make a lot of circus-type catches in tight coverage, including where it counts the most -- in the end zone.
LB Tavante Beckett (Marshall) - 5-foot-10, 214 pounds
40-yard dash time: 4.77
An undersized hitter with a leaner frame and a good close into the pocket. Beckett shows an intriguing burst into the pocket, and the name of the game is getting to the quarterback. While Beckett looks a little raw at linebacker, he has the needed characteristics to carve out a nice career for himself as a banger on special teams. There is ample opportunity for him to make a push at linebacker in Detroit, and Beckett is just the guy who will help transform the culture in the Lions' locker room into what Campbell desires.