Joseph Fauria has described not being selected in this year's Draft as a "blessing in disguise".
The tight end finished his college career with 1,139 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns, but concerns over his ability to block and a suspension in his second year saw him overlooked in the Draft.
The 23-year-old, who joined the Detroit Lions as a free agent in April, told the team's website: "I'm not going to lie. I scored 12 touchdowns and thought I was the [best]. I was surprised on draft day.
"I used what happened as fuel and I'm never going to lose that ever for the rest of my career. It made me work harder. It might have been a blessing in disguise.
"You put it on film during practice and that's the repetition of doing it and doing it and doing it, but if you don't show up in games, what makes them keep you. [Last week] helped me make a case to be on this team."
Fauria recorded 44 receiving yards and scored a touchdown during the Lions' pre-season win over the New England Patriots last week.