Detroit Lions June Scouting Report
Things are slow this time of year but we do have some miscellaneous news and notes as the Lions have completed their OTAs and a mandatory June minicamp.
QB: The biggest news coming from the Lions over the last month was that LT Taylor Decker underwent shoulder surgery. The reports said it was a torn labrum, which is a 4-6 month recovery. He will almost certainly start the season on the PUP list and miss a minimum of 6 games, and probably more. The Lions went out and did the best they could go acquire some reinforcements, and luckily did so before the news broke of New Orleans losing their left tackle to the same injury. The Rams traded Greg Robinson to the Lions and he could be the front runner to protect the blind side of QB Matthew Stafford. That is not encouraging, but there are other options if Robinson can’t handle it. Where should Stafford be ranked in fantasy football this year? I think what we saw last year is a decent template, with the offense under Jim Bob Cooter relying on more of a ball control passing attack. His ceiling isn’t as high as it used to be, but he has a high floor when you consider his durablilty and consistency. He’s going to take some extra hits without Decker though.
RB: The thing to keep an eye on here is that RB Theo Riddick is still recovering from wrist surgery. He had a large brace on his wrist at OTAs. Pay close attention to Riddick when we get to training camp. I mentioned last month that the Lions were connected to two notable veteran free agent running backs. Blount signed with Philly, but the Lions did sign RB Matt Asiata. It’s a low cost, low risk signing. If he makes the team he could be a short yardage and goal line back. The Lions have phased the fullback position out of the offense so they cut FB Michael Burton. That could help Asiata when it becomes a numbers game at cutdown time. The focus is going to continue to be on RB Ameer Abdullah, who could be a somewhat forgotten man in the fantasy world. He might be the Lion whose production is most likely to exceed his ADP.
WR/TE: It’s early but things sound good with rookie WR Kenny Golladay. He figures to at least be involved in red zone situations, and could push for the #3 receiver role which gets heavy snaps in this scheme. A lot of analysts thought Detroit could have been a good landing spot for one of the veteran receivers that recently hit the open market (Maclin, Decker), but it sounds like they are comfortable with what they have. Of course WR Anquan Boldin is still out there and until he signs elsewhere, people will wonder if he could return. It doesn’t sound likely. WR Marvin Jones is saying all the right things as he knows he dropped off severely after a blazing start in 2016. WR Golden Tate and TE Eric Ebron will likely
K/DST: The Lions aren’t going through with their long snapper competition, as they already cut the guy they drafted in round 6 last year then stashed on IR. Stability at long snapper is good news for PK Matt Prater. I’m still not sure I see enough playmakers on defense for this to be a unit you would draft in fantasy leagues, especially with a front loaded schedule.
I will be back next month with a training camp preview.
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