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Detroit Lions Early August Scouting Report
James Hintz

In this report, we will summarize the news and notes that have been reported from Lions training camp, plus we will review the first preseason game, a 27-23 loss to the Falcons.

QB: Mostly positive reports from camp on QB Jared Goff, although the real test will be if they can develop more of a downfield passing game. Goff started against the Falcons and the belief was that the starters would play a quarter. Unfortunately after each team’s opening possession there was under a minute left in the quarter so that was it for the starters, but the one possession produced a TD. Goff was 3 of 4 and the incompletion was a drop where Goff checked it down after looking deep on a play action fake. The word is Goff likely won’t play in the final two preseason games. I would continue to say he really only has value in a two quarterback league or a superflex league, and I don’t play those formats so use your own judgment. QB Tim Boyle entered after Goff, and QB David Blough finished up. Most people thought Blough looked better, but his late fumble was costly. With neither backup all that inspiring, there is a rumor out of Pittsburgh that the Steelers could look to trade QB Mason Rudolph to the Lions.

RB: Not a bad start for RB D’Andre Swift on Friday night as he carried 4 times for 20 yards and a TD. The offensive line looked good and was getting notable push up front. His fantasy stock, which is pretty high, is holding steady with this performance. None of the backup running backs did much to stand out against the Falcons. One notable roster move during camp was the Lions picking up RB Justin Jackson, formerly of the Chargers. He will be in the mix for a backup job but I would be surprised if he makes the cut. RB Jamaal Williams is locked in as the backup to Swift.

WR/TE: The Lions got WR Amon-Ra St. Brown involved early with 2 catches for 29 yards, and I am starting to lean toward thinking he has a higher ceiling this year than I previously believed. Shout out to WR Tom Kennedy. This guy has been mostly a practice squad player for the last couple years but he had 8 catches for 104 yards on Friday. He looks like a guy that can be a reliable slot receiver. Can he beat the numbers game and make the team? WR Trinity Benson had a drop on a bubble screen which won’t help his cause. We didn’t see much of WR DJ Chark in Friday’s game but word from camp is that his chemistry with Goff is coming along nicely. TE TJ Hockenson did not play due to a very minor injury. TE Devin Funchess took advantage and flashed a bit in his playing time with four grabs including a TD as he tries to show he can still play.

K/DST: The Lions defense is going to need to focus on doing a better job of containing mobile quarterbacks, as Mariota and Ridder combined for 82 yards on the ground. The Lions don’t face many mobile quarterbacks early in the season other than Hurts in week 1. Run defense is already a concern due to the lack of beef on the defensive line. DE Aidan Hutchinson made a few plays in his limited playing time and it seems like he is looking like the real deal. As for CB Jeff Okudah, he is projected as a second stringer for now. For those tracking the kicking competition, coach Campbell said he thinks PK Austin Seibert is slightly ahead of PK Riley Patterson. Both were solid in Friday’s game, with Seibert making a 46 yarder and Patterson making two short field goals.

Up next is preseason game 2 on Saturday 8/20 at Indianapolis, then game 3 on Sunday 8/28 at Pittsburgh.


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