Detroit Lions May Scouting Report
QB: I mentioned in my draft preview report that the Lions would add a third quarterback but I didn’t really think they would use a draft pick to do it. QB Brad Kaaya was rated as somebody who could go as early as round 3, so for him to be there in round 6 was great value and the Lions pounced. He should compete with QB Jake Rudock for the backup job. Some of pointed out that the Patriots have done a good job of young backups to the point where they become valued around the league, so perhaps Kaaya becomes a future asset. QB Matthew Stafford isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, although there is still nothing to report on his possible contract extension.
RB: Last month I shot down the idea that the Lions would take a running back early, thinking they would feel good about having a healthy RB Ameer Abdullah as their starter. Those were basically the exact comments general manager Bob Quinn made after the draft, as there were questions as to why the Lions didn’t take a running back at any point in the draft. Former Vikings RB Matt Asiata was in for a tryout, and former Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount is still out there as a free agent and reports have linked him to the Lions. Detroit picked up undrafted RB Tion Green from the University of Cincinnati and he is a power back. Unless he wows everybody in minicamps, the talk will continue that Blount is the bruising back they need to acquire. But for now the Lions are saying they are confident in what they have, which means Abdullah as the primary back, RB Theo Riddick as a pass catching specialist, and perhaps RB Zach Zenner as a power back, with RB Dwayne Washington a wild card if he can show improvement.
WR/TE: The Lions may have been interested in WR Chris Godwin of Penn State but he went off the board one pick in front of the Lions in round 3. Detroit then traded down 11 spots and grabbed WR Kenny Golladay of Northern Illinois. Golladay is a big receiver at about 6’4, so he could emerge as a red zone threat that the Lions haven’t had from their receivers since Calvin Johnson retired. We felt like the Lions would pick a tight end at some point and they did that in round 4 with TE Michael Roberts of Toledo. Golladay and Roberts will both likely be brought along slowly after playing in the MAC. I was like many fans who was surprised they took Roberts with Jake Butt still on the board. Kyle Meinke of MLive pointed out that the Lions gave Roberts number 80, which WR Anquan Boldin wore last year. Boldin still wants to play and is a free agent that some have thought could end up back with Detroit, but this could be a clue that they are moving on with Golladay. In other news, the Lions decided that yes they would pick up the option year for TE Eric Ebron, so he is now under contract through 2018.
K/Def/ST: The Lions went defense first, drafting LB Jarrad Davis of Florida. The local media had this nailed in their mock drafts, but the fall of Reuben Foster had me wondering if the Lions might grab Foster, but they went with Davis who doesn’t come with the injury and character questions that Foster has. Davis is expected to step in and start at middle linebacker and has enough speed and coverage ability to stay on the field in passing situations, so he should rack up some great IDP numbers. CB Teez Tabor was a little questionable in round 2 as he ran a slow 40 time at the combine, and was even slower at his pro day. The other defensive players that were selected don’t figure to have much immediate impact.
That’s it for this month. I will be back next month with a new report including updates from OTAs and minicamp.
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Saturday, September 9th, 2017
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