Detroit Lions draft RB/kickoff returner Jason Huntley in fifth round

With their second pick in the fifth round of the NFL draft, the Detroit Lions selected another running back. 

New Mexico State’s Jason Huntley will join second-round pick D’Andre Swift in the backfield in Detroit.

Huntley, who is 5-9 and 193 pounds, is a standout for his kickoff return skills. It may be his ticket to land on the Lions’ 53-man roster.

“Honestly, whatever position they want me to play, that’s what I’ll play. If it is returning kicks, I’d be more than happy to do it,’’ Huntley said in a conference call on Saturday.

In 2018 he led the FBS with three kickoff returns for touchdowns (22 returns, 598 yards, 27.2 average).

In his senior year he had 154 carries for 1,090 yards for an average of 7.1 yards per carry and nine touchdowns. His kickoff production was down (15 returns, 302 yards, 20.1 average).

As for his running style he describes it: “I’m more of a fast guy. I think that’s the biggest thing about me, my speed. I’m good in space. Off the field, I’m good on the board as well. That’s a pretty good IQ.”

Detroit Lions draft picks (so far)

First round — CB Jeff Okudah (3rd overall), Ohio State

Second round — RB D’Andre Swift (35th overall) Georgia

Third round — LB Julian Okwara (67th overall) Notre Dame

Third round — G Jonah Jackson (85th overall) Ohio State

Fourth round — G Logan Stenberg (121st overall) Kentucky

Fifth round — WR Quintez Cephus (166th overall) Wisconsin

Fifth round — RB Jason Huntley (172nd overall) New Mexico State

Detroit Lions draft Wisconsin WR Quintez Cephus in fifth round

Oddly enough Lions first-round pick cornerback Jeff Okudah has said the best wide receiver he went up against last season was Wisconsin’s Quintez Cephus.

Both are now members of the Detroit Lions. 

Wide receiver was a position of need for the Lions and they addressed it by drafting Cephus in the fifth round on Saturday (166th overall).

“Jeff is an unbelievable talent, he was the best guy I lined up against all year,’’ Cephus said in a conference call on Saturday.  “It’s amazing getting  to see all the great athletes that the Lions tapped this year that they drafted and the guys they have on their roster. 

“Jeff Okudah, I know he’ll get me better. I can’t wait to work with him and have fun, knowing he has that same respect for me that I have for him it’s going to be a great thing,’’ Cephus said.

The 6-1, 202-pound wide receiver ran a 4.73 40 at the NFL Combine.

As a senior he had 59 receptions for 901 yards (15.3 yards per catch) and seven touchdowns. 

“I think I’m a receiver that makes plays, I’m a complete receiver I’m willing to block, to make catches, I’m willing to do whatever I need to do to help my team be successful, whatever that is I’ll do what I have to do,’’ Cephus said.

He remembers watching quarterback Matthew Stafford when he played at Georgia.

“I’m excited to get to work with him, learn from him, he has a lot of great experience with a lot of great guys,’’ Cephus said. “… I’m excited to get there and go to work with thim.’’

Cephus’ career at Wisconsin was temporarily derailed before the 2018 season when he was accused of sexual assault. He was acquitted of those charges in August 2019,

Cephus was accused of sexual assault prior to the 2018 season. He was acquitted of the charges in August 2019, but missed the 2018 season. 

He didn’t want to talk about the issue in the conference call, saying he’s looking forward to playing with the Lions.

 

Detroit Lions draft picks (so far)

First round — CB Jeff Okudah (3rd overall), Ohio State

Second round — RB D’Andre Swift (35th overall) Georgia

Third round — LB Julian Okwara (67th overall) Notre Dame

Third round — G Jonah Jackson (85th overall) Ohio State

Fourth round — G Logan Stenberg (121st overall) Kentucky

Fifth round — WR Quintez Cephus (166th overall) Wisconsin

Detroit Lions draft guard Logan Stenberg in fourth round, out of Kentucky

Nasty on the field, a gentleman off the field. It’s a perfect combination for an NFL offensive lineman. 

Meet guard Logan Stenberg.

The Detroit Lions added another big body to the offensive line by drafting Stenberg with the 121st overall pick in the fourth round on Saturday afternoon.

Stenberg, who is 6-6 and 315 pounds, calls himself a blue-collar guy, a hard-working individual.

Certainly his nasty streak is one of his many assets.

“I grew up with three older brothers, so I was the youngest of all four, growing up I had to fight for everything whether it was food or my place in line,’’ Stenberg said on a conference call on Saturday. “I grew up with that nastiness. I had to fight for what I want. It carried over to football.

“I think you could ask most of my teammates I’m very different on and off the field. Off the field I’m a very respectful fun guy, on the field it’s all business and I want to end the guy across from me every play,’’ Stenberg added.

He started 39 straight games at left guard for the Wildcats but is open to all possibilities in Detroit. 

“I think I can play any position on the offensive line, i plan to play wherever coach Patricia needs me the most,’’ Stenberg said.

He played in the Senior Bowl which gave the Lions coaching staff a chance to get to know him.

“I thought the Senior Bowl was great for me personally, because I got to spend some time around the coaching staff, seeing how they do things, what they value, getting a feel for it before I get it up to Detroit,’’ Stenberg said.

He spent this weekend on his parents’ 150-acre farm in southern Tennessee where they raise Charolais cattle.

“We’re out here, kind of isolated, watching the ticker waiting for my name to be called,’’ Stenberg said. “I couldn’t be happier to be going to Detroit.’’

He was asked if he was familiar with Larry Warford, another Kentucky offensive lineman.

Stenberg referred to him as Mr. Warford, possibly a first.

In the third round on Friday night, the Lions drafted guard Jonah Jackson out of Ohio State who also played in the Senior Bowl.