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Fantasy implications of Lions signing RB Dedrick Mills as a UDFA

The Lions have signed Nebraska RB Dedrick Mills as a UDFA following the 2021 draft. Will he be a fantasy football asset to start his career?

Dedrick Mills #26 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers rushes for yards against Deion Jennings #17 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the fourth quarter at SHI Stadium on December 18, 2020 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Nebraska defeated Rutgers 28-21. Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions signed former Nebraska Cornhuskers running back Dedrick Mills as an undrafted free agent. He joins a depth chart that includes D’Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams, Jermar Jefferson and Rakeem Boyd.

In his second and final season with Nebraska, Mills rushed for 396 yards and averaged 4.7 yards per carry with three touchdowns. He also caught 12 passes for 85 yards in six games played in 2020.

Fantasy football impact

Rookie

Mills is highly unlikely to be a factor in Year 1 in the NFL with who he is competing with. Swift is the clear No. 1, the Lions just signed Williams, and he will need to compete with other rookie backs Jefferson and Boyd just to make the roster. There is not a clear path to instant success to Mills’ career, and he can be off fantasy radars once draft season comes.

Long-term

Mills certainly took a unique route to the NFL. After a fantastic start to his college career at Georgia Tech, he was dismissed from the team due to failed drug tests. He moved to junior college and returned to Nebraska where he was a key piece of the offense. At 24 years old, there are plenty of odds stacked against Mills to have a sustained NFL career as he will need to show the coaching staff he is worthy of a roster spot, whether that is with the Lions or elsewhere.