- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Detroit Lions announced their undrafted free agents on Monday afternoon -- 11 of them -- and over the next few days, you'll get brief primers on them here as the team prepares for rookie minicamp this weekend.
Name: Jerome Couplin
School: William & Mary
ESPN pre-draft position rank: No. 151 safety
Career College Stats: 257 career tackles, 21 passes defended, five forced fumbles, five interceptions, one fumble recovery.
Chances of making it to camp: 90 percent. Detroit clearly targeted him as someone it was interested in. The Lions brought him in on a pre-draft visit. His frame -- 6-foot-2, 215 pounds -- and defensive ability made him an intriguing flier.
Why him: Physically, he is impressive and people have noticed. Forbes wrote about him and his fairly awesome nickname, the “Osprey” because of his height, weight and jumping ability -- Forbes had his pro day numbers at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash, a vertical jump of 41.5 inches and a broad jump of 11 feet, 2 inches. That alone is worth taking a chance on, especially from a franchise that has looked at Norwegian kicking sensation Havard “Kickalicious” Rugland and United States rugby player Carlin Isles in the past 12 months.
Unlike Kickalicious and The Fastest Man in Rugby, Couplin has real experience beyond raw talent and an actual chance to make a roster or the practice squad. What he has, those physical gifts, are not things that can be taught, but can be honed, and he is an intriguing option because of all of this. He was considered one of the top defensive players in the FCS, was first-team All-CAA and a first-team FCS All-American. He was also a finalist for the FCS defensive player of the year award. In other words, he might be overlooked, but he can play.