Report: Detroit Lions signing another Iowa linebacker

Tennessee Titans v Minnesota Vikings
Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions have reportedly signed former Iowa LB Ben Niemann.

According to the Detroit News, the Detroit Lions are signing linebacker Ben Niemann to their 90-man roster. As of now, there is no notice of a corresponding move.

Niemann is a six-year NFL veteran who has started 21 career games. Initially undrafted out of Iowa, he spent the first four years of his career with the Kansas City Chiefs, making 62 game appearances over that time and winning a Super Bowl. While he saw plenty of time on defense, his major role was on special teams, where he logged at least 240 snaps in each of his first four seasons.

Most recently, Niemann spent time with the Arizona Cardinals (2022) and Denver Broncos (2023). He spent half of last year on the practice squad before being elevated to the Broncos’ 53-man roster. Again, he was a fixture on their special teams unit, earning a 79.1 PFF special teams grade (53rd among 662 qualifying special teamers).

While Niemann shares an Alma Mater, his time at Iowa never overlapped with Lions first-round pick Jack Campbell, who is expect to be the Lions’ starting MIKE linebacker this year. At Iowa, Niemann was a three-year starter. At first, he was an outside linebacker before transitioning to the MIKE midway through his college career. In his final two seasons at Iowa, he earned PFF grades of 76.4 and 76.3, respectively.

In Detroit, Niemann will have an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster. The Lions are likely set with their top five linebacker: Campbell, Alex Anzalone, Derrick Barnes, Malcolm Rodriguez, and Jalen Reeves-Maybin. That said, with the loss of Anthony Pittman in free agency, there is an opening for a special teams-heavy linebacker. Niemann will compete with two UDFAs—Steele Chambers and DaRon Gilbert—for that spot.

Go to Source
Title: Report: Detroit Lions signing another Iowa linebacker
Author: Jeremy Reisman

You May Also Like