Lions Sign Two Linebacker Prospects

Just who are recently signed linebackers Rodney Thomas, Michael Young and Steve Baggs? takes a look.

In attempt to shore up a weakened linebacker position, the Detroit Lions signed three linebackers in the past two days, including two recently dismissed Arizona Cardinal linebackers.

On Tuesday, the Lions signed Steve Baggs, who will likely be tried at the outside linebacker position despite starting at defensive end in college, and also made a claim on two others.

The 6'0, 235lb rookie Bagggs joins the team after a standout career as a DE at Bethune-Cookman.

Baggs was named Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2003 after leading Division 1-AA with 33 tackles for loss and ranked fourth with 15 sacks. To make room for Baggs on the roster, the Lions' released undrafted free-agent rookie Matt Brandt.

The Lions turned the two claims off the waiver wire into signings on Wednesday.

Rodney Thomas and Michael Young were both in Cardinals' camp previously, and also were both cut on the same day. The Lions got a look at Young during last season's home opener win over the Cardinals, a game that Young started.

The 6'1, 226lb Thomas left Clemson in 2002 as the school's No. 10 All-Time tackle leader (321) and registered six sacks. In his senior campaign, Thomas recorded 167 tackles -- the sixth-best single-season total in Tiger history.

Thomas' accomplishments at Clemson were enough to catch the eye of the Cincinnati Bengals, who signed him as an undrafted free-agent in 2003. After failing to make the roster, Thomas was invited to Bengals camp again this year after spending time in NFL Europe, but was again released and picked-up by the Cardinals.

Thomas makes an interesting project because he played both middle and outside linebacker in college, and was solid at each position.

After four years as a starter at middle linbacker at Illinois, the 6'2, 240lb Young signed with Arizona as a free agent in 2001. He spent almost the entire season the team's practice squad, then appeared in 16 games (two starts) in 2002, tallying 25 tackles. In 2003, Young started the opener against the Lions due to an injury-riddled linebacking core but saw limited action the rest of the year, playing in just five other contests.

Young and Thomas were both among 10 players cut by Arizona a few days ago.

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