While things are quiet on the football field this time of year with both players and coaches away on vacation until training camp begins, Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew remains active. The Lions signed former Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Matt Veldman.
I’m not excited about this move, and I don’t think fans should get too worked up over it either. For those fans wondering about the Lions-Jaguars connection, look no further than James ‘Shack’ Harris, once the Vice President of Player Personnel, now a senior personnel executive with the Lions.
Veldman has the size the Lions seem to be looking for in a tight end, at 6’7″, but needs to add some weight to his frame.
Veldman was an undrafted free agent out of North Dakota State in 2012, signing with the Jaguars. He tore an ACL in preseason and spent 2012 on injured reserve.
Lions tight end coach Bobby Johnson spent last season as the tight ends coach with the Jaguars, and probably had some input on this signing.
Veldman played at North Dakota State and seemed to have various injuries throughout his college career. The thing that might make him valuable to the Lions is his ability to also play defensive end, and even long snapper. For those wanting more than the typical stuff out there, I found a scouting report at Pro Football Weekly that tells us more, but not much more of it is good.
Excellent size and growth potential — has very long arms and big hands. Presents a big downfield target. Good hands and flashes ability to haul in contested catches. Intelligent.
Is high-cut with herky-jerky movement — unfurls long strides and builds to below-average speed. Wooden hips — cannot sink his weight. Too easily bumped off course. Limited strength to anchor in line and struggles to sustain. Has underachiever traits. Average production vs. marginal competition. Is immature, entitled and could rub teammates the wrong way. Injury-prone and too comfortable in the trainer’s room.
Big-framed, inconsistent size prospect with catching ability who could be a practice-squad candidate. However, his straight-linish movement skills and unappealing intangibles could deter teams.
Just what the Lions needed, another injury prone and entitled player. Kent called it on Facebook yesterday, the Lions needed to make a cut to get down to 90 on the roster after signing Veldman, and Dominique Curry was the player released.
Veldman should be in the mix for a special teams spot based on his abilities, but I wouldn’t expect huge things from him. He will probably end up on the practice squad. Maybe another team out there will need a tight end and take him off our hands.
I was working on this story yesterday before severe storms took out my power, phone, and internet. I just got all that back on today, sorry for the delay.
- Report: Former Jaguars TE Matt Veldman signs with Detroit Lions (mlive.com)
- Lions sign TE Matt Veldman (prideofdetroit.com)
- Lions release TE Dominique Curry (prideofdetroit.com)
- Jeff Backus returns to the Lions (thesilverdomeblues.com)