The Detroit Lions have signed undrafted free agent Keytaon Thompson, arguably the most versatile player coming out of the college ranks. The decision emphasizes GM Brad Holmes’ preference for versatile players in reshaping the Lions’ roster and providing offensive coordinator Ben Johnson with a plethora of matchup nightmares.
Holmes’ Vision for Versatility
Thompson, an unconventional talent from Virginia, impressed the Lions front office with his adaptability. Transitioning from quarterback to wide receiver, he’s shown an ability to excel in different roles on the field. However, he has an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster. At 6’5″, Thompson’s stature is impressive, but it’s his offensive flexibility that truly aligns with Holmes’ innovative approach to team-building.
Thompson and Johnson: A Potent Combination
Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson, known for his ability to nurture talent, could be the key to unlocking Thompson’s potential. Johnson’s innovative strategies, paired with Thompson’s adaptability, promise a dynamic weapon for the Lions to bounce around the playbook. He has the size and speed to line up on the outside as an X or Y receiver, but he can also line up in a “wildcat” role with the option to run or pass out of the backfield.
A Dynamic Addition
Thompson’s journey, from Mississippi State to Virginia and now Detroit, has seen the 24-year-old thrive in multiple roles. Despite not specializing in a particular position, his skills across various roles provide the Lions with an intriguing tactical wildcard. Thompson’s ability to make gains after short and intermediate throws adds a new dimension to the Lions’ offense. His confidence in throwing the ball could lend the rookie to a role similar to that of Taysom Hill, who bounces around the New Orleans Saints offense.
For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21
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