Sep 8, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions tight end Joseph Fauria (80) celebrates during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
How does a 6’8″ tight end prospect who runs a 4.7 in the 40 yard dash with 12 touchdowns in his final year of college go undrafted?
If you figure it out, let me know.
Perhaps former UCLA Bruins tight end Joseph Fauria, now of the Detroit Lions, is really just THAT bad of a blocker, or at least he was coming out. Perhaps the reasons he transferred from Notre Dame were enough to cause scouts to say, “Uh-uh, no way we’re drafting that kid.”
Still, the fact remains that a 6’8″ 260 pound kid with speed and endless red zone abilities was absolutely passed up in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Mind boggling, especially in today’s NFL.
With the passing game as prominent as it has ever been, there is no way any GM in the NFL in their right mind should let a player of Fauria’s caliber go undrafted, yet that was the case this year. The Detroit Lions, who already had a pretty solid couple of tight ends in Tony Scheffler and Brandon Pettigrew, decided to take a flier on Fauria as an undrafted player, and it’s already paid huge dividends.
Aside from the fact that he’s not a reception machine at this point, Fauria has been incredibly productive in the red zone for the Lions, catching five touchdown passes in six games this season. Keep in mind also, that Fauria has only been targeted nine times, and has just seven catches.
I’m not saying Fauria is some All-World tight end that every team in the league passed on, but five touchdowns on seven grabs is an efficiency rate I’d be okay with as a GM.
Fauria does have some hideous touchdown dances, but the Lions will take it. They are one of the most quiet 4-2 teams in the league this season, and when Fauria catches a touchdown pass?
Yep, you guessed it–they are undefeated.
For a guy that has NFL bloodlines (related to former NFL TE Christian Fauria), it’s remarkable that a player who caught 12 passes at a prominent Pac-12 school like UCLA didn’t get picked, especially when 16 tight ends were drafted this past year.
So, to answer my own question of why was Fauria undrafted?
Beats the heck out of me.