Morning Roar: Why Lions like Kashama

The Lions, lying in wait for the new year ...

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- In the small switchover of the Detroit Lions roster earlier this week, the team picked up a defensive end not many people have heard of from a school not exactly overflowing with NFL-level talent in Michigan.

Yet there Kalonji Kashama was Tuesday, dressed with the rest of his new Detroit Lions teammates. Kashama went undrafted out of Eastern Michigan this year -- not surprising considering the school rarely produces winning seasons and has about a handful of players in the NFL right now.

Two of them, though, reside in Detroit on the defensive line. One is Jason Jones, who could end up as the team's closed defensive end and has had a productive NFL career so far. The other is Kashama, who projects as a rush end. That's what the Lions apparently liked out of him when they saw him in rookie minicamp last month.

So they signed him Monday and he was out there Tuesday.

"We saw that he had a nice little burst off the edge and he can run and possibly do some pass rush," defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said. "Anytime you have a guy that can possibly be a type of pass rusher in this league, you're going to make sure you further examine him and see if he can really do it."

Kashama agreed to the typical three-year base salary deal most undrafted rookie free agents grab on to. He had 104 career tackles and 12 sacks at Eastern Michigan and after showing rushing ability in minicamp, he has a roster spot for now.

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