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Lions rookie check-in: Preseason Week 2

Following up with the Detroit Lions' rookies and their performance against the Washington Redskins.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Ameer Abdullah pixie dust has worn off, it's time to get an update on how the Detroit Lions' rookies have progressed in the past week. Here's how they performed in Thursday night's game against Washington.

Laken Tomlinson

Tomlinson followed up his decent debut with a mediocre performance. Again, it was Manny Ramirez who started at left guard with the first-string offense. After Ramirez left, Tomlinson was slotted in the left guard position for the rest of the game. In all, he played in 71% of the offense's snaps.

Tomlinson's performance, like in his debut, was up and down. Early on, he gave up a pretty ugly sack.

tomlinson sack

However, Tomlinson responded well by not giving up a single pressure the rest of the way.

Still, Tomlinson is having a lot of trouble finding those defenders at the second level, which is going to be a key part of his responsibilities in the running game.

tomlinson 2nd level

I know they are giving Tomlinson the same treatment they gave Larry Warford, but if he continues to struggle in the run game, don't be surprised to see Ramirez slotted as the left guard in Week 1.

Ameer Abdullah

Abdullah didn't see much playing time in the second preseason game. His two carries for 7 yards performance was an unpleasant hangover after a wild game against the New York Jets. But this was to no fault of his own. Abdullah only participated in seven offensive snaps on Thursday. The Ameer Abdullah hype train will have to wait another week to pick up more passengers.

Alex Carter

Carter is still recovering from an ankle injury. He is very close to practicing in camp, but he's still MIA in games.

Gabe Wright

I picked a bit on Wright last week, and unfortunately I have to a little again. Wright got turned aside, opening a big hole for Washington running back Matt Jones in the second quarter:

wright ride

Admittedly, this is a bit of bad luck for Wright, as he is designed to attack toward the center of the line. Still, a savvy defensive tackle is able to spin off of that block in time to make a play.

That being said, as the game rolled on, I saw Wright eventually use his strength to bully into the backfield a few times. That's a good sign that once Wright gets the mental part of the game in his arsenal, he could be very disruptive. He clearly has the strength.

He also made a heads up play by jumping on the loose ball on Robert Griffin III's last play of the game.

Michael Burton

Burton had a nice 14-yard reception with the first-team offense but didn't get much of an opportunity to show anything else. He and Emil Igwenagu continued to share equal playing time, with Burton seeing six snaps and Igwenagu receiving nine.

It was Igwenagu, however, who had the Fullback Block of the Night:

This is a battle to keep an eye on, and there's no clear leader at this point.

Quandre Diggs

Diggs got a fair amount of time in the second half as the Lions' nickel cornerback and even saw some time with the first-string defense. He displayed decent coverage and no fear in getting physical. Although he only tallied one tackle on the stat sheet, Diggs showed a good amount of competence out there and has given himself a very good shot at making the roster.

Pro Football Focus didn't seem to like his performance much, but it's very hard to grade a cornerback's plays without the aid of the all-22 camera angle.

Corey Robinson

Robinson had a terrible false start in the red zone on his first drive of the game. He followed it up with a tripping penalty not too long after and not much else. This wasn't a great showing for Robinson after getting a lot of playing time in the preseason opener. If he wants to make the 53-man roster over guys like Michael Williams, he's going to have to keep the flags at bay.

Undrafted rookies

Again, it was Zach Zenner who stole the show. This time getting some work earlier in the game, Zenner made the most out of every touch. He consistently broke tackles and led the Lions with 81 total yards and a touchdown. Through two games, he has made a very strong case to be the Lions' fourth-string running back for the season.

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