Lions UDFA profile: QB James Franklin

May, 13, 2014
May 13
1:30
PM ET
The Detroit Lions announced their undrafted free agents on Monday afternoon -- 11 of them in all -- and over the next few days, you'll get brief primers on all of them here as the team prepares for rookie minicamp this weekend.

Prior profiles: OT Cornelius Lucas

Name: James Franklin

Position: Quarterback

School: Missouri

ESPN pre-draft position rank: No. 30 quarterback

Career College Stats: 42 games played. 586-943-25-6,962. 51 touchdowns. 450 rushes, 1,729 yards. 21 touchdowns. 17 fumbles. Six lost fumbles. 60 sacks.

Depth chart he’s looking at: Matthew Stafford; Dan Orlovsky; Kellen Moore

Chances of making it to camp: 95 percent. The only way he doesn’t is if he fails a physical or stinks it up during the rookie camp and minicamps. Otherwise, he’s competing with Moore for a roster spot as the quarterback Jim Caldwell, Joe Lombardi and Jim Bob Cooter are going to develop.

Why him: Franklin is an intriguing prospect because he is the antithesis of what Detroit already has on the roster. Neither Stafford nor Orlovsky are particularly mobile and Franklin had some dual-threat capabilities during his time with the Tigers. There is some pedigree with Missouri quarterbacks at least reaching the NFL in some capacity. Brad Smith (as a quarterback/wide receiver), Chase Daniel and Blaine Gabbert have all at least reached the highest level of football. That the Lions didn’t draft a quarterback -- although they considered it at multiple points -- and reached out to Franklin so quickly gives the feel like he is their preferred player among the rookies who were left at this point. Remember, Lombardi worked with Daniel in New Orleans, so there could be something Missouri coach Gary Pinkel does with quarterbacks that Lombardi particularly likes.

Michael Rothstein | email

ESPN Detroit Lions reporter

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