Lions sign former Michigan State tight end Matt Sokol


Michigan State tight end Matt Sokol celebrates the Spartans victory over Michigan in 2015.

The Detroit Lions have made a habit of finding good depth for their roster on the waiver wire for the 2021-22 season, and now that the year is over, that work has continued.

Detroit continues to be relentless on the waiver wire with additions, and last week they did an interesting one with a local flavor that could be beneficial going forward.

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The Lions revealed on January 12 that they had signed tight end Matt Sokol to a reserve term contract. Sokol spent the start of the 2020 offseason in Detroit after signing a future contract with the Lions at the time. He bounced back a bit, but landed on his feet again in his hometown.

While many might overlook the addition of Sokol, it could turn out to be a big chance for the young tight end. The Lions don’t have much depth at the position behind TJ Hockenson and Brock Wright heading into the offseason, which means the team might like Sokol enough to give him a chance to make his point. . This is what will have to happen now.

Sokol Stats & Highlights

Sokol started his career with Michigan State just up the road from Detroit and hails from Rochester, Michigan. In terms of production, Sokol was more of a tight end blocker considering he only had 348 yards and 2 touchdowns in his career with the Spartans. As the tape shows, he’s more of a blocking threat, but can make occasional catches to move the sticks.

Matt Sokol (Michigan State TE) vs. Michigan 2017Michigan State TE Matt Sokol catches 3 passes for 14 yards against the Michigan Wolverines. 07/10/17. Michigan State wins 14-10.2018-06-22T17:48:47Z

Sokol started his career in 2019 as an undrafted free agent with the Los Angeles Chargers. He then bounced to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Lions, Chargers and Jaguars and now the Lions. His NFL career only saw two games played, but Sokol probably never had the chance to earn a role like he has now.

Future Lions rookies feature intriguing names

The Lions have done a good job this season finding players who fit their pattern as undrafted free agents as well as waiver pickups, and that work this year should give fans confidence that some of those players could play a role for the team. to advance. Cornerback Saivion Smith was added late in the season and the team got solid play from him on special teams as well as defense. Linebacker Tavante Beckett was an undrafted free agent who hung around the practice squad and could become a role on the defense over time. Dan Skipper is a rotational offensive lineman who has seen the NFL break in the league before, and wide Javon McKinley was a solid weapon for the team in the preseason. Tight end Shane Zylstra could be in the mix for a depth role at tight end in 2022 given the team’s shallow depth at the position.

The Lions revealed their full slate of signings with a tweet last week on Monday. Here’s a preview of the announcement:

For Detroit, it’s interesting to see the team bring back many players from preseason and the practice squad, and many of those players could have a chance to crack the roster in the future.

While most names don’t have a huge impact, in the past players added to futures have turned out to be strong pre-season players, practice squad members, or parts of the game. great depth for the team. Sokol could feature in that mix given the team’s needs at tight end.

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