By Anwar S. Richardson | firstname.lastname@example.org
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on April 27, 2013 at 9:39 PM, updated April 27, 2013 at 9:42 PM
ALLEN PARK -- The Detroit Lions have kicked off their signings of undrafted free agents by signing former UCLA tight end Joseph Fauria on Saturday night.
Detroit has also signed Kentucky defensive back Martavius Neloms, Central Michigan receiver Cody Wilson, Ball State offensive tackle Austin Holtz, East Carolina defensive tackle Michael Brooks, Albany linebacker Jon Morgan, Ohio center Skyler Allen, Western Michigan quarterback Alex Carder, Texas Tech offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle, and Appalachian State running back Steven Miller.
In addition, Detroit signed former Chicago Bears safety Trevor Coston, who was a free agent.
"It's really important (signing undrafted free agents)," Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said. "We changed the process up this year a little bit. We got some input from (senior personnel executive) Brian (Xanders) about things they had done in Denver, and we changed it up a little bit, and we'll see how it goes."
Fauria (6-foot-7 and 255 pounds) was bypassed in the 2013 NFL draft, but among one of the first Lions' signings after it concluded. He even joked about the snub on his Twitter okay by writing: "And in the 8th round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Lions choose @BigJoeFauria!"
Detroit selected Alabama tight end Michael Williams in the seventh-round, but Fauria is considered to be a pass-catching tight end. Williams is known more as a blocking tight end.
Lions tight ends Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler are entering the final year of their contracts, and Fauria could be an option if one of the incumbents decides to examine their free agency options after this season.
Fauria led UCLA with 12 touchdowns last season, which is second on the school's all-time school single-season list, and the most since Marcedes Lewis had 10 in 2005. He also added 46 receptions for 637 receiving yards.