Lions add WR Antoine Green with final draft pick

ALLEN PARK — Wide receiver Antoine Green, who played at North Carolina, was drafted in the seventh round by the Lions on Saturday. He was the eighth and final pick for Detroit and the first wide receiver drafted by the Lions.

He’s a vertical specialist averaging 18.6 yards per catch. He’s explosive with a background in sprinting and long-jump/triple-jump. 

“My strengths as a player I’m good at stretching the field, I can read a defense pretty well, find the zone, do whatever I have to do to get open, I’ve got a big body and good hands and my playmaking ability is what’s special about me,’’ Green said in a Zoom interview.

He will join the Lions’ wide receiver group which includes Amon-Ra St. Brown, veteran Marvin Jones Jr., Jameson Williams and Kalif Raymond.

“Joining an established offense with Jared Goff and the rest of the guys, it’s definitely exciting for me because I want to contribute to that and put on a show what I can do and ultimately win games,’’ Green said.

For the Tar Heels he played as a true freshman but didn’t take over a full-time role until 2021. Last season he was a third-team All-ACC selection (43 catches for 798 yards and seven TDs).

He was limited to nine games with a collarbone injury.

His NFL.com pre-draft notes included: “Green’s size and deep-ball success make him a more intriguing Day 3 prospect than the overall production and skill set might suggest. Like most vertical specialists, he’s not going to shake man coverage on intermediate routes, but he has decent hands and consistently finds himself overtaking deep coverage with his build-up speed. He might find himself fighting for a spot on a practice squad or the back end of a roster.’’

Green played at Florida’s Rockledge High School.

2023 Lions draft

RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama, first round (12th overall)

LB Jack Campbell, Iowa, first round (18th overall)

TE Sam LaPorta, Iowa, second round (34th overall)

DB Brian Branch, Alabama, second round (45th overall)

QB Hendon Hooker, Tennessee, third round (68th overall)

DL Brodric Martin, Western Kentucky, third round (96th overall)

OL Colby Sorsdal, William & Mary, fifth round (152nd overall)

WR Antoine Green, North Carolina, seventh round (219th overall)

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Lions draft OL Colby Sorsdal in fifth round

ALLEN PARK — With the 152nd overall pick, the Lions drafted Colby Sorsdal who was a five-year starter at William & Mary. It was the Lions’ first of two selections on Saturday, the final day of the draft.

Sorsdal, who is 6-foot-6 and 301 pounds, was a team captain with 46 starts at right tackle. He became a starter as a true freshman for the Tribe.

“I can’t really explain the feelings right now, I think I have hives a little bit for how excited I am,’’Sorsdal said during a Zoom interview from his family home in Dallas.

Look for him to possibly move to the interior line due to his lack of length (short arms). He said he just wants to make an impact wherever he is on the field.

He joins one of the best offensive lines in the NFL with guys like Taylor Decker, Frank Ragnow, Penei Sewell and Jonah Jackson.

“I think one of my strengths is that I learn and I love to learn. Coming into a room and learning from all of those guys, it’s a dream come true,’’ Sorsdal said. “I’m just excited to get to work.’’

He first talked to the Lions at the Shrine game and a local scout was at his pro day. He said he’s also talked to Hank Fraley, the Lions offensive line coach.

Sorsdal wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine, but has size, experience, moves very well and most of all he has toughness, according to Brian Baldinger of the NFL Network.

He was a  third-team All-Colonial Athletic Association selection for his play in 10 starts in 2021. Then he was a first-team FCS All-American and All-CAA notice as a 13-game starter in his final season.

Lions trade RB D’Andre Swift to Eagles

ALLEN PARK — In a move that was expected, the Detroit Lions traded running back D’Andre Swift to the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday.

The move was in the cards once the Lions drafted running back Jahmyr Gibbs in the first round on Thursday night. Lions GM Brad Holmes chose his words carefully after that pick, pointing out that Swift was still on the roster. 

Like Swift, Gibbs is a threat out of the backfield. Last season at Alabama he rushed for 926 yards with seven touchdowns and had 44 receptions for 444 yards and three receiving touchdowns.

The Lions acquired 25-year-old veteran running back David Montgomery in free agency and lost Jamaal Williams who signed with the Saints.

In return for the trade to the Eagles, the Lions will swap seventh-round picks today (Saturday), moving up to 219th from 249th and receive a fourth-round pick in 2025.

Eagles GM Howie Roseman told ESPN: “(Swift’s) got big-play ability as a runner and a receiver. We saw it first-hand when we were in Detroit the first game of the season.”

The 24-year-old Swift, who was drafted by Detroit with the third pick in the second round in 2020, finished his three seasons (39 games) with 364 carries for 1,680 yards (4.6 yards per carry), 18 rushing touchdowns and 156 receptions for 1,198 yards and seven receiving TDs. 

He returns to his hometown of Philadelphia where he attended St. Joseph’s Prep before playing college ball at Georgia.