Seisay trying to make run at Lions roster

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – He watched the draft in May, even though he knew the chances of him actually hearing anyone call the name “Mohammed Seisay, defensive back, Nebraska,” was minimal at best. He had some friends who he knew would end up selected, so he wanted to support them.

And how many times can you watch the draft and even have the remote chance of your name being called anyway. Around the seventh round, though, his phone began to ring and he began to relax a little bit more.

“So I knew I had hope,” Seisay said. “And that I’d be able to put a jersey on again. I kind of knew around the seventh round. I knew I wasn’t going to get drafted, but I just wanted an opportunity to showcase.”

Seisay chose the Detroit Lions over other teams pursuing him because he saw the depth chart at cornerback and nickelback and didn’t see many of players with many years of experience. Add to it a new coaching staff where every player is learning the playbook simultaneously and it became an advantageous situation.

Then there was the interest level. Seisay said the Lions showed the most interest and also offered him a $5,000 signing bonus. It might not sound like a lot, but it is a decent signing bonus for an undrafted free agent.

It also gave Seisay what he wanted: A chance. Through the first week, Seisay has made some plays, catching the attention of teammates and coaches. He has run some plays with the second unit at both cornerback and nickel, although he knows the only chance he makes Detroit’s roster is on special teams.

Special teams is where Seisay made the most impact at Nebraska and his bio from the Huskers’ website leads with him being “one of the Huskers’ top special-teams performers,” especially because he played mostly nickel and dime at Nebraska.

Usually players like that rarely end up on NFL rosters, but Seisay did enough on special teams to gain some attention. His height-and-weight combination – 6-foot-2, 206 pounds – helped, too.

“He is one of those guys that has got natural pop. Certainly he’s got toughness. He’s got length and one of those guys he shows up rather quickly,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. “As soon as we put the shoulder pads on, he started to show up a little bit more than he did in shorts. A lot of times, that’s when you find out.

“That’s why you have to wait until you get in pads because some guys once they get the pads on, it appears that they play faster certainly because they can add some physicality to it. He’s one of those.”

Seisay still has long odds to make the roster as several corners with more experience are in front of him – not including starters Rashean Mathis and Darius Slay. But there is a bit of a jumble there after the starters and likely nickelback Bill Bentley and rookie Nevin Lawson. Those four are very likely on the roster.

Beyond them, though, there could be a spot or two up for grabs. Seisay could put himself in position for it, or at the very least a spot on the practice squad.

And he believes there are three ways he can make enough of an impression to do it – even if he would have to beat out players with more experience, such as Jonte Green and Chris Greenwood.

“Got reps at corner, got reps at nickel,” Seisay said. “Wanted to come here and make sure I am versatile and that they could put me at corner or nickel. I got three ways of making the team.

“So that’s a better chance of making it than having one position, you know.”