Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 5/12/13
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Joseph Fauria calls himself an eighth-round pick. The problem is, there are only seven rounds in the NFL Draft. Fauria, who showed flashes of his pass-catching ability during the Detroit Lions rookie minicamp over the weekend, is clearly using not getting drafted as motivation now. Ive got a permanent chip on my shoulder, he said following Sundays practice. You look on Wikipedia, itll say undrafted free agent for the rest of my life. That doesnt define me. Its a small footnote in my life and the rest of my career. Hopefully, its a long career. Fauria, the nephew of former NFL tight end Christian Fauria, was used as a slot receiver during his senior year at UCLA. He caught 12 touchdown passes, the same number as West Virginia's Tavon Austin, who was the No. 8 pick overall by St. Louis. At 6-foot-7, 255 pounds, however, Fauria projects as a tight end in the pros, if he can overcome some obstacles to win a roster spot. Theres a lot of negatives next to my name, Fauria admitted. He plans to disprove every one of them. Although Fauria can be a downfield threat in the pass game, there are definitely questions about his blocking ability. I dont want to complain too much, but I think it came down to it wasnt really asked of me when I was lined up as a receiver, Fauria explained. But right now, Im trying to get better at that as much as possible so I can prove whoever did say that, whoever does think that, wrong. Im going to give my best effort. That was also a thing in the past where people didnt think I gave enough effort. Im going to put all those naysayers aside and work my tush off and block my butt off, too. The tight-end position typically requires a dual role as a special-teams contributor, too, in the NFL, especially for back-ups. Fauria, who played his freshman year at Notre Dame before getting suspended and transferring to UCLA, said he didnt play much on special teams for the Bruins. Im open for it, Fauria said. Im going to do it. Whatever it takes. Its a whole new attitude, a whole new approach to this. Youre not the guy anymore. Im an undrafted rookie. Ive got to do whatever I can to make this team. Fauria said he played board games with his family during the draft to try to take his mind off the disappointment of not getting picked. What game did they play? Loaded Questions, he told reporters interviewing him. Kind of like you guys, Fauria added with a smile. When he wasnt one of the 254 players selected, Fauria received several free-agent offers and chose to sign with the Lions, who have two tight ends, Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler, entering the final year of their contracts. Now Faurias determined to prove he belongs in the NFL despite the seven-round snub. All of us in our lives go through trials and tribulations, Fauria said. Im the type of guy who would rather put on a smile because theres better days. EXTRA POINT Offensive guard Larry Warford, a third-round draft pick, participated in the individual drills but was held out of the team portion of Sunday's practice after getting accidentally elbowed in his neck a day earlier. The initial pain was pretty bad, Warford said. But Im fine. They just kept me out of practice for precautionary reasons. Its nothing serious at all.
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