Never forget the legend
The Lions open training camp on Monday, which means we’re close to naming the sixth winner of the James Mungro Memorial Award presented by (sponsor pending).
That’s right. We made it. The second most prestigious award on the internet is back.
We’ll have a more complete preview on our competitors in the leadup to the first game, but here’s an introduction to the 22 souls in contention to follow in the footsteps of legends like McClendon and Austin.
Isa Abdul-Quddus, FS, Age: 24, Four years of experience. Career NFL games: 42. While he’s got a lot games under his belt, he’s only started four of them. The hyphenated last name is always a plus.
Chad Abram, FB, Age: 23, Rookie. Abram’s number is “44b” according to the Lions’ official roster. I’m excited to see that on a jersey.
Alex Bullard, G, Age: 23, Rookie. Like 2012 JMMA winner Jacques McClendon, Bullard is a guard out of the University of Tennessee. Foreshadowing?
Jerome Couplin, S, Age: 22, Rookie. Couplin is out of William & Mary. As a small school guy at a position where he could make a couple of highlights. Unfortunately he’s already had a feature story written about him, putting his eligibility for the competition in question.
A.J. Dalton, T, Age: 22, Rookie. At 6-4, 280 he’s way to small to be an offensive tackle in the NFL. (LaAdrian Waddle is 6-6, 321. Reilly Reiff is 6-6, 313) But he can bench press 225 pounds 33 times. That would’ve been the 10th best at the NFL Combine this year. Maybe, if he works hard and believes in himself he’ll make it. Well, probably not. Still, who doesn’t love a 6-4, 280-pound underdog story.
DeJon Gomes, SS, Age: 24, Four years NFL experience. Career NFL games: 46. Gomes probably sounds familiar. He played in all 16 games for the Lions last year. But since he was picked up by the Lions at the beginning of September after he was cut by the Redskins he never got a chance at the JMMA. The committee has determined his play last year was so anonymous that he was eligible for the award this year. Congrats to him, I guess.
Aaron Hester, DB, Age: 24, One year NFL experience. Career NFL games: 0. Spent 2013 camp with the Broncos before being cut. He’s the cousin of former Bear and current Falcon Devin Hester.
Gregory Hickman, DT, Age: 23, Rookie. Like Abram, Hickman’s number contains a letter. He’s ’60w’. I really hope these aren’t typos.
Justin Jackson, LB, Age: 22, Rookie. There’s not much I can find on Jackson other than he’s out of Wake Forest. He’s just another dude, which is either the best thing or the worst thing for a guy to be in this competition.
George Johnson, DE, Age: 26, Five years NFL experience. Career NFL games: 11. The name is well below average, but the career arc is there: 11 games in five years, zero starts, One career solo tackle.
Kalonji Kashama, DE, Age: 23, Rookie. An early favorite for three reasons. 1.) The name. 2.) His dad’s name is Ferdinand. 3.) He’s Canadian. Unfortunately he’s probably not going to make the team, which means he’ll probably head to the CFL. He was the 27th overall pick in the CFL before his final season at Eastern Michigan.
Cornelius Lucas, T, Age: 23, Rookie. If there’s going to be a third straight offensive lineman to capture the JMMA, the money is on Cornelius. He’s obviously got the name, but more importantly, he lives on the island with his fellow Wild Things. Lucas is 6-9, 328 pounds. The only downside: He too, had a feature written about him. This one came back in June.
Gabe Lynn, S, Age: 23, Rookie. He’s got an uphill battle. I tend not to trust anybody named Gabe.
Jacob Maxwell, TE, Age: 23, Rookie. After about five minutes of his 23-minute YouTube highlight video I feel like I know Maxwell. He’s a non-blocking, average speed tight end who looks more like a receiver. His route-running is good and his hands are even better. Unfortunately the Lions already have the rich man’s version of him in Joseph Fauria.
Andrew Peacock, WR, Age: 23, Rookie. We all love the scooters, and judging by Peacock’s 5-9 frame, he’s a scooter. That attribute, plus his last name and him wearing the No. 1 jersey put him on the list of early favorites.
Bryce Quigley, G, Age: 22, Rookie. Quigley is fun to say, so he’s got that going for him. He had a semi-feature written about him a couple days ago in which he talked about risking his NFL future by playing with an injury in the Idaho Potato Bowl. Quigs, the minimum NFL salary is $420,000. A win over Buffalo in the Potato Bowl isn’t worth anything close to that.
Mohammed Seisay, CB, Age: 24, Rookie. I like Seisay because if you flipped his first name and his last name it’d sound just as cool. If he can turn in a competent performance in the preseason, not only could he win this award, but he’d earn the adulation of Lions fans everywhere who are just looking for a cornerback that doesn’t have a nervous breakdown.
Julian Stanford, LB, Age: 23, Two years NFL experience. Career NFL games: 20. You probably didn’t know Stanford played in four games for the Lions last year. That’s cause he out-smarted you. Anybody who has Stanford right in their name has to be a genius.
Jordan Thompson, TE, Age: 25, One year NFL experience. Career NFL games: 0. I’m least excited about Thompson of all the tight ends — unless there is a 23-minute YouTube highlight video that I’ve missed.
Larry Webster, DE, Age: 24, Rookie. Webster is out of Bloomsburg University, which Wikipedia tells me is a Division II school in Pennsylvania. He is also 6-7 and 250 pounds, which means he’s 45 pounds lighter than Dominic Raiola despite being six inches taller than him.
Reese Wiggins, WR, Age: 23, Rookie. An all-name team selection, Wiggins is a contender. But he’s going to have to balance playing good enough to advance in the competition with playing just bad enough not to get noticed.
George Winn, RB, Age: 23, one year NFL experience. Career NFL games: 0. Despite entering his second year, he’s already had stints with six NFL teams. That combined with the fact he’s at a position where he could see a small bit playing time if he moves into the third string, makes him the early favorite.