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As the NFL draft continues on all weekend, the Detroit Lions as well as other teams will be making selections, but not every player will get to hear his name called or see the fanfare of such a moment.
Even if a player goes undrafted, they still can make a big impact in the league if they are motivated and work hard. The Lions still have a chance to find difference-makers, and that’s a fact known all too well by one such player the team found in cornerback Jerry Jacobs.
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Last year at this time, Jacobs may not have been on many fan radars, but Brad Holmes was keeping close tabs on the talented cornerback. After the draft was over, Holmes and the Lions made the call, Jacobs came in and played well, earning all the chances he received. Jacobs is a success story for the Lions to note as a result. He burst on the scene in 2021 in a way few will forget, so as a result, he can offer perspective to players. His message? Don’t give up on the dream and keep working hard.
“Best part about today you got dudes who not gone get their name call till after the draft and it ain’t nothing but fueling their fire to them and I love it it ain’t about where ya done in the draft it’s about what you do when ya get that opportunity,” Jacobs tweeted.
Jacobs made the most of his opportunity so his words carry extra weight and should be paid attention to by everyone this weekend no matter of draft position. Whether a player goes early or not, only the motivation and drive will matter in the end.
Jacobs’ Stats & Highlights
To say Jacobs was an underdog for the team was an understatement. When he signed after the NFL draft last May, few people knew who the defensive back from Arkansas was or figured he would be sticking around for the long haul. In college, Jacobs did have decent stats, with 70 tackles and 4 interceptions to his credit to go with 2 forced fumbles and 10 passes defended. That was between two stops at both Arkansas State and Arkansas.
Coming into the league, it was easy to see why folks were a bit excited about Jacobs given the tape. Here’s a look at what he brings to the mix:
Obviously, there is some scrap to Jacobs, and that already served him well in cracking the Detroit roster. When he’s played, he hasn’t looked overmatched. As he learns more, he’s setting his goals high to become one of the best ever which he has confirmed himself routinely. As a rookie, he put up a solid 34 tackles and never looked overmatched.
Jacobs only managed to get that done because of a strong belief system.
Lions Have Enjoyed Some UDFA Success Recently
Jacobs’ words of wisdom are very telling, especially for prospects who may get a call from Detroit once the draft is done. Through the years, the Lions have done a nice job at mining gold in the UDFA market. Perhaps their best success story was tight end Joseph Fauria, who rose through the ranks to make an impact for the team in 2013. The majority of his 281 career yards (207) and 8 touchdowns (7) came that unforgettable season when he also taught Detroit how to dance.
Other Names like running back Zach Zenner and defensive lineman James Hall have also starred in the past. With names like Jacobs, AJ Parker, Bobby Price, Brock Wright, Tommy Kraemer, the Lions’ 2021 class has the potential to be an all-timer for the team in terms of impact on the field. In 2022, the Lions will have a chance to add more to the position.
As Jacobs knows, not being selected in the draft is not an end as much of a new beginning. It’s refreshing to see him sharing that message before a life-changing weekend begins.