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Detroit Lions June Scouting Report
James Hintz

Things are slow this time of year but we do have some news, notes, and roster moves as the Lions have completed their OTAs and a June minicamp.

QB: I don’t spend too much time looking at player rankings in June because they change a lot through the preseason and I am not in leagues that draft early. But I did peek at some rankings recently and seeing QB Matthew Stafford in the mid 20s will take some getting used to. But this is not a surprise. We saw this situation evolve as the season went on last year, and even though I am a fan of Stafford as a player, his fantasy value is low. The Lions want to have a run first offense and we are no longer expecting to see Stafford to put up big stats. Stafford’s wife Kelly is recovering as well as could have been expected after her brain surgery, so that is good news. Stafford and his teammates are learning a new offense but it’s too early to make any judgments on how that is going. There was a roster move among the backups as QB Connor Cook was waived and QB David Fales was signed. Doesn’t look like Cook’s NFL career will ever get off the ground. QB Tom Savage remains the favorite to be Stafford’s backup.

RB: I like the potential of RB Kerryon Johnson this year. He had a nice rookie year, and even if the Lions don’t want him getting 30 touches per week, there will be plenty of touches to go around. I still have a weird feeling about RB Theo Riddick not ending up on the 53 man roster. If that happens, Kerryon’s pass catching numbers could go up. The Lions didn’t do much to address the hole at guard but the continuity of the line is strong and I think they will be a very good run blocking unit.

WR/TE: It’s probably nothing to worry about in the big picture but WR Kenny Golladay and WR Marvin Jones sat out minicamp with minor injury issues. My gut tells me Golladay will be a nice WR2 and Jones will be a solid WR3. The Lions brought WR Jermaine Kearse in for a workout, and eventually decided to sign him to a 1 year deal. He has a history with OC Darrell Bevell from when they were together in Seattle. He is veteran insurance for now, as most feel he is not a lock to make the team. Some weird stuff at the tight end position as the Lions traded TE Michael Roberts to New England, which immediately made some think Roberts would be a breakout candidate. Then 24 hours later the trade was nullified and Roberts returned to the Lions and he was waived. No word exactly on what happened but I am assuming he failed his physical with New England. Regardless, this gives TE Logan Thomas the inside track to the third tight end behind rookie TE T.J. Hockenson and free agent add TE Jesse James. Reportedly there were some three tight end formations during minicamp.

K/DST: As usual, if you are looking for a draftable kicker, PK Matt Prater qualifies. The Lions defense improved as the season went on last year and they could be a little underrated in the early fantasy team defense rankings. Matt Patricia is a defense first coach, and this is year two with his scheme in place, so the learning curve that caused some issues last year is a things of the past. Keep an eye on two potential holdouts: DT Damon Harrison and CB Darius Slay. These are probably their two best players on defense, and both skipped the voluntary work and mandatory minicamp. They both have two years left on their contracts so the Lions won’t exactly be in a rush to give them extensions.

I will be back next month with a training camp preview.


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