Lions Add Former Cowboys TE, Waive Undrafted Rookie Record Breaker

Lions Add Former Cowboys TE, Waive Undrafted Rookie Record Breaker

The Detroit Lions have made a change at tight end. The Lions signed veteran Sean McKeon and waived 2024 undrafted free agent Isaac Rex.

 

Detroit announced the transaction on the team’s official X (formerly Twitter) account.

 

“Lions have signed TE Sean McKeon and waived TE Isaac Rex.”

 

McKeon was once an undrafted free agent himself in 2020. As a rookie, he earned a role on special teams with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020. He spent four seasons in Dallas, posting 6 catches for 38 yards over 45 games.

 

In college, McKeon played for Michigan from 2016-19.

 

McKeon will replace Rex on Detroit’s 90-man roster. Rex went unselected in this year’s draft, but he was an exciting addition for the Lions in undrafted free agency.

 

Rex caught 24 touchdowns during his college career at BYU. That broke the record for most receiving touchdowns by a tight end in program history.

 

Lions Sign TE Sean McKeon

The Atlanta Falcons hosted McKeon for a workout during rookie minicamp weekend. But the Falcons didn’t sign the veteran tight end.

 

He will now join a crowded tight end room in Detroit. The Lions entered this offseason with Sam LaPorta and James Mitchell already under contract. Then the team kept Brock Wright by matching the offer sheet from the San Francisco 49ers.

 

The Lions also re-signed veteran Shane Zylstra. Then on May 13, the team completed its 90-man roster by adding fellow veteran tight end Parker Hesse.

 

Although more experienced than Rex, McKeon likely won’t offer the same offensive upside as the undrafted free agent. But McKeon could battle for a roster spot this summer because of his versatility.

 

The Cowboys mostly used McKeon as a run blocker during his four seasons with the team. He was also featured often on special teams. With the Cowboys, McKeon played 526 special teams snaps versus 412 snaps on offense.

 

Last season, he lined up for 100 offensive snaps and 142 special teams snaps. He didn’t have any catches on 2 targets. On special teams, McKeon recorded 1 tackle.

 

He played nine games and finished the 2023 season on injured reserve.

 

At Michigan, McKeon had 60 catches for 668 yards and 6 touchdowns in 36 games. As a senior in 2019, he posted 13 receptions and 235 receiving yards with 2 touchdowns.

 

Lions Waive Undrafted Rookie Isaac Rex

To make room for McKeon, the Lions had to unfortunately waive Rex.

 

Although not selected, Rex was one of the more intriguing players the Lions added immediately after the draft.

 

“He has good size but is too tight-hipped to bend and leverage blocks with consistent success. He’s an average route runner, but he does have good catch instincts in space and quality hands outside his frame,” wrote NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein. “Rex suffered a broken ankle in 2021 and might not have the same high-point talent he once showed.

 

“He’s effective after the catch and is a smart player, but he could face long odds to become a TE3/4 in the NFL.”

 

In addition to 24 touchdowns, Rex had 112 receptions and 1,385 receiving yards in five seasons at BYU. Last season, he recorded 34 catches for 422 yards and 3 touchdowns. But as Zierlein indicated, Rex was a more dominant player early in his college career before he broke his ankle.

 

As a redshirt freshman in 2020, he had 37 catches for 429 yards and 12 touchdowns.

 

But Rex will have to try his long odds at making the NFL as a TE3 or 4 somewhere else.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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