Detroit Lions release Travis Fulgham after failing to show much promise

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Detroit Lions draft pick, second-year wide receiver Travis Fulgham, didn’t make the cut.  The sixth-rounder from a year ago will hope to catch on elsewhere.

When the Detroit Lions drafted Travis Fulgham in the sixth-round of the 2019 NFL Draft, expectations were limited.  Usually, we don’t expect a fifth, sixth, and seventh-round pick to automatically make the football team, let alone, make an immediate positive impact.

Fulgham joined the Lions after enjoying a very successful college career with Old Dominion, where he amassed 18 touchdowns over his three seasons as a regular.  Fulgham corraled 128 balls totaling 2,044 yards.  The 6-foot-3 pass-catcher averaged a whopping 17.2 yards per reception in 2018 as a senior en route to a solid 63 catch season totaling 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns.

The Lions took a flier on Fulgham, hoping to find themselves another Kenny Golladay.  Similar to Fulgham, Golladay played his college football under the radar at Northern Illinois, making 87 grabs totaling 1,156 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior before entering the NFL Draft.  The Lions selected Golladay in the third round of the 2018 draft.  It was a questionable pick at the time that’s paid off substantially for the Detroit Lions.  The 6-foot-4 receiver led the NFL with 11 touchdown receptions in 2019.

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Many will be reluctant to admit now that they were skeptical when the Lions used the 96th overall pick on Golladay, but at the time, it was a very unpopular choice.  Fulgham wasn’t a questionable pick in the sixth round, but general manager Bob Quinn hoped to catch lightning in a bottle. Still, Travis, who showed some promise last summer during training camp, fell out of favor in a roster filled with talented receivers.

Fulgham’s chances of making the roster increased after veteran receiver Geronimo Allison decided to opt-out of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Still, it appears the organization is choosing to let Marvin Hall, Jamal Agnew, and rookie Quintez Cephus jockey for position at the bottom of the teams’ depth chart.

Last season, Fulgham, who cleared waivers, spent most of the year on the Lions practice squad but appeared in three games.  He failed to make a single catch on three targets.  The Lions also released receiver Chris Lacy, guard Josh Garnett, linebacker Christian Sam, and defensive end Jonathan Wynn.  In addition to those moves, the Lions also traded defensive back Michael Jackson to New England for an undisclosed draft pick in the 2022 draft.

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The Lions roster currently sits at 81 players, but with Jalen Elliott currently placed on the COVID-19 list he does not count against the roster, the team will need to make one more move once he’s ready to be activated.