It was on Monday, shortly after practice ended that the Detroit Lions reportedly waived rookie wide receiver Quintin Payton, to make room for new wide receiver Conner Vernon, who the Lions claimed on waivers from Cincinnati. However it was on Tuesday, that Detroit Lions senior writer and insider, Tim Twentyman, reported that the Lions waiver claim on Vernon had been made official, after he passed his physical.
The waiver claim for WR Conner Vernon has become official after he passed his physical today.—
Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) August 12, 2014
Now for those who don’t know, Vernon, is a former Duke Blue Devil standout, who signed with the Oakland Raiders as an un-drafted free agent in 2013. He finished the 2013 season on the Browns’ practice squad, which led to the Browns signing him to a reserve/future deal in December but they ended up waiving him last month. He was then picked up by the Bengals and although he has never appeared in a regular season NFL game, he did have a 12-yard touchdown reception for the Bengals in the team’s first preseason game last week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
At this point, I think the Lions are looking for another consistent wide receiver, who will challenge the others receivers in training camp, which is something that Payton wasn’t doing, according to Justin Rogers of MLive.com.
At 6-foot-4, 212 pounds, (Quintin Payton) he has intriguing size, but showed inconsistent hands during practice and the team’s preseason win over the Browns.
If there is one thing you can count on when it comes Vernon, it’s good consistent hands. At 6-foot-1 and 200-pounds, the former Duke standout is the ACC’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards, not to mention his best collegiate season came as a senior in 2013, where he hauled in 85 passes for 1,074 yards and eight touchdowns.
Beyond his great stats, Veron is just a good consistent wide receiver, who has spent time in the slot and can make big plays down the field. After looking back at his film, it’s once again very clear that he has great hands, but beyond that he is also a fundamentally sound receiver, who relies on being a good route runner to get open. If that’s not enough, he also demonstrates good down-field play, showing that he knows how to create separation before and after the catch. Most importantly, he has a high football IQ and great work ethic, which should help him to stand out in Lions training camp and during preseason play.
For the time being, this is a solid move for the Lions and a good opportunity for Vernon.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
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