The Detroit Lions are getting set to head into the 2021 NFL Draft, and the team has opened up potentially another roster spot of need for the weekend.
According to a report from NFL insider Aaron Wilson, the Lions have released Bryant with a non-football injury designation. The move is very intriguing for many reasons just hours before the draft gets underway from Cleveland.
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Lions cut Hunter Bryant with a non-football injury designation
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 28, 2021
The move to release Bryant is intriguing ahead of the draft considering tight end Kyle Pitts could be of major interest to the Lions. Detroit may or may not get a shot to draft Pitts, meaning they could look to add a young player at some point in the later rounds to the position.
Bryant was thought to be in the mix to potentially be the third tight end for the Lions this year, but now that he will move on, there is the chance for another addition at the spot.
Bryant’s Career Stats
Bryant, expected to be one of the biggest prizes in the undrafted free agency period, came to the Lions as a very productive tight end out of Washington after the 2020 draft. The Lions depth at the position behind T.J. Hockenson was a bit thin, so Bryant was figured to add a little bit with his ability to go up and make catches. In college, Bryant put up 1,394 yards and 5 touchdowns, but 6-2 size means he could be a solid pass catching option for the team at the position. He stuck on the roster, but thanks to injury was not able to make a huge impact last season for the team. Bryant finished his Lions career with one reception for 44 yards which came late in the season against the Tennessee Titans.
Now a free agent, Bryant will look to latch on somewhere else once the release becomes official. It could be tough duty given the fact that the draft will bring plenty of young players in the mix across the league.
Update on Lions Tight End Depth
This offseason, there’s been tons of moving parts for Detroit at tight end. The team signed Josh Hill, which was a key move for the Lions given the fact that the team doesn’t have much in the form of depth. Jesse James was quickly released earlier this offseason. T.J. Hockenson is entrenched on the roster, but beyond that, there isn’t much at all. Bryant was injured much of last season which could have played a role in his eventual release, and the team also signed Alize Mack early in free agency, but he doesn’t have any NFL production to rely on at this point in time.
Could the move to cut Bryant mean the Lions feel as if tight end is a need or an addition is coming? They have been connected to Kyle Pitts in the draft process, so anything is possible.
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