The first preseason game of the year is in the books, which means it’s time to take stock of the roster. Normally, we start the stock report during training camp, but due to time constraints, that wasn’t possible. So instead, we’re kicking it off now.
For those unfamiliar with the format, we take a look at every player on the roster we can and put them into one of two categories: Stock Up, Stock Down. If a player didn’t really move the needle, they’re simply not included. In the latter part of the article, Quick Hits, we very quickly go through anyone we have notes on and put them into up or down. Most of these are very minor (the big ones get full write ups), so don’t raise your pitchforks if a guy who got three snaps is in stock down because he missed a single block or something. Anyway, formalities concluded, let’s dive in!
Stock Up: Kerryon Johnson, RB
Lions rookie running back Kerryon Johnson making people look silly (on a run that was called back). pic.twitter.com/5BFPcEUSGD— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) August 11, 2018
You all knew you were going to see him here. You’ve read our other articles (1,2,3,4,5). You’ve read MLive, DetNews, or whoever else. If you had been reading them during camp, you would have seen this coming. Kerryon Johnson has been good, like really good, and he put that on display during the preseason opener. While we’re still in “He’s in line to start eventually” territory, my Week 1 starter prediction still stands.
Stock Down: A’Shawn Robinson, DT
A’Shawn Robinson still in the game. And showing he probably still needs the work.— Scott Warheit (@swarheit) August 11, 2018
Robinson was penned in as starter coming into the season even after the Lions pulled in a couple free agents on the interior. He has been dealing with some minor injury stuff in camp, so maybe that played a part in how bad he looked against the Raiders line. And make no mistake, he looked really bad. The Lions signed multiple run stuffers and drafted another in Da’Shawn Hand, so I don’t expect much in terms of pass rush. I do, however, expect some runs to be stuffed, and not to see starting defensive tackles blown off the line every play.
Stock Up: Ameer Abdullah, RB
Keeping it in the stable, Ameer Abdullah put on a show against the Raiders. Both on special teams and offense, Abdullah showed his trademark quickness and burst that led him to be drafted in the second round a few years ago. He also, however, had some moments where he looked like he was auditioning for a dance competition, so his flaws haven’t gone completely away either. He was featured more than many expected, so it’s possible he’s being hung as trade bait for Washington, who recently lost their second-round pick, Derrius Guice, to an ACL injury. If not, he’s pretty well secured that fourth running back spot.
Stock Down: Jake Rudock, QB
Remember when Jake Rudock was a developmental QB who could eventually be traded for a valuable draft selection and/or the next Tom Brady?— Bryce Rossler (@btrossler) August 11, 2018
Look, Matt Cassel is bad. If I wanted to subject you all to it, I could write an article of equal length about how bad the Lions’ backup QB situation is. I’m not, though. You’re welcome.
After Cassel finished pretending to quarterback, Jake Rudock gave it a go and put on a throwback to his Iowa days. If the pass was travelling negative two to five yards beyond the line of scrimmage, he can make the pass work. He only attempted one pass 10+ yards downfield on the day, for crying out loud. If he has to process or if the play has to develop or if there’s any modicum of pressure, the ball isn’t going where it should. His statline of 12-for-19 and 84 yards (a paltry 4.4 YPA) isn’t awful, but watching him reach that stat line was.
Stock Up: Da’Shawn Hand
Da'Shawn Hand playing well against the Raiders' reserves. The sooner he can develop into a significant contributor, the better.— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) August 11, 2018
I made a prediction that Kerryon Johnson would start weeks ago in the early portion of camp. My overreaction Monday (Saturday, preseason schedules) comment is that Da’Shawn Hand could be a Day 1 starter. Yes, I know it’s unlikely, but after watching A’Shawn Robinson and Sylvester Williams getting manhandled in the early portion of the game, it was a stark contrast to Hand. You see, Hand actually made it difficult for the blockers he took on. Was he a great pass rusher? Nah, Matt Patricia seems allergic to pass rushers, but Hand was competent and, as the motto goes, did his job.
Stock Down: Bradley Marquez, WR
Bradley Marquez came into this game as the team’s fifth WR. For those who’ve followed along, that shouldn’t come as a surprise as he has repped with the second team (With Teo Redding and Jace Billingsley) and was the fifth receiver in the team scrimmage. Also for those following along, his missed opportunities in this game should come as no surprise as he’s not a great fifth option. With little special teams value, you can’t be dropping the only passes you’re thrown by either of the team’s noodle-armed backups, and you need to do your job and work back to the ball on comebacks rather than sitting on your route. Ugh.
Jamal Agnew, CB - Agnew took a bunch of snaps in the slot, a role many are hoping he expands as the season progresses.
Alex Barrett, LB/DE - Don’t get me wrong, Barrett wasn’t good. He was, however, the only one to record a QB hit against the Raiders.
Trevor Bates, LB - Bates didn’t look great, but he was productive, notching six tackles on the day with four solo on only 21 defensive snaps. Rough unit as a whole, so job up for grabs.
Freddie Bishop, LB/DE - Bishop didn’t look terrible, which was a win on the night with how the defense played.
Tyrell Crosby, OT - Crosby looked good in his debut, and with the Lions giving him a huge share of snaps (the most for OT), he’s getting a long look.
Solid deuce block by Crosby/Ragnow on Hurst: pic.twitter.com/uCN2Jh9oo2— Brandon Thorn (@VeteranScout) August 11, 2018
Taylor Decker, OT - Decker didn’t look great coming back from injury last season and it took a few weeks to get back to form. He looks now how he ended last season: Good.
Mike Ford, CB - After a weak camp, Ford had lost some luster for me, but his preseason debut showed some of that upside that makes him an ideal practice squad stash.
Wesley Johnson, OC - Johnson got the most snaps of any guard or center. He played poorly, but he may not be as low on the depth chart as his play would suggest.
Devon Kennard, LB/DE - Kennard was the big pass rushing addition for the Lions, and while he only played a few snaps, he rushed at least one pass. Mildly promising.
Miles Killebrew, SS/LB - Recovering a fumble is a good way to get noticed positively, which Killebrew desperately needs.
Leo Koloamatangi, OC - Koloamatangi looked really good last season, but needed to put on better weight. He still looks good and may steal a backup spot from someone sooner than later.
Marcus Lucas, TE - Lucas had a fair amount of snaps and caught all three of his targets for 18 yards. He’s a practice squad candidate.
Brian Mihalik, OT- Mihalik looked alright in his limited action. Going to be a tight fit for the roster, so every snap needs to count.
Brandon Powell, WR - Powell made the most of his snaps against the Raiders, catching a tea- high five receptions for a team-high 34 yards.
Frank Ragnow, OG - Ragnow looked good in his debut. Quiet day, which is what you want.
Ryan Santoso, K/P - With the “Punter battle” matter seemingly settled, Santoso took over some kicking duties and looked good. Auditioning now.
Hakeem Valles, TE - Valles has been having a good camp, and that has continued. He caught two of his four targets for 26 yards. Keep an eye out, he’s a dark horse for the roster.
Tracy Walker, SS - After the lowlights in camp of Jarrad Davis getting hit by Chris Warren, it was refreshing to see Walker get some pay back for his team captain.
Tracy Walker just hit Warren with a shovel! Good grief! Finally, someone needed to return the favor.— Grant Cook (@gclions) August 11, 2018
Charles Washington, SS - With how safety has been playing out, Washington may be working his way into a position to make the final roster.
Cornelius Washington, DE - Washington didn’t get to play much, but his few snaps were earlier in the game hinting his roster spot may not be in as much danger as we all think.
Tavon Wilson, SS - Wilson only played a handful of snaps, but left a positive impression so that’s good.
Anthony Zettel, DE - Zettel looked good in this one, good enough that he may be the only defensive lineman I’m not too concerned about. Hopefully that carries over to the regular season.
Nick Bellore, FB - Bellore took a whopping five snaps. If that level of usage continues, the team probably won’t keep a fullback this year despite plans to improve the run game.
Jace Billingsley, WR - Billingsley didn’t stand out, which isn’t good if you’re fighting for a roster spot.
LeGarrette Blount, RB - Blount didn’t play poorly, he’s just down here because he also got to see Kerryon Johnson play and must know where he stands now.
Brian Brown, WR - I’m pretty sure he hasn’t been cut yet. He also had only ten snaps and wasn’t targeted.
Matt Cassel, QB - Cassel is likely the backup QB Week 1. He hasn’t played like someone who deserves to be that. Hoping for a signing.
Joe Dahl, OG - Dahl may not make the roster. With how he’s playing, we may have had our final “Good job, Joe Dahl” last season.
Antwuan Davis, CB - Getting only five snaps on defense isn’t a good way to earn a practice squad invite, let alone a roster spot.
Josh Fatu, DT - Fatu only played six snaps on the night. With a lot of bad weight and questionable athleticism, Fatu likely fighting only for a practice squad spot.
Dontez Ford, WR - Ford got a long look at receiver but only parlayed that to a single catch for four yards. Not as impressive as his previous preseason performance.
Kenny Golladay, WR - Golladay’s camp struggles bled into the preseason, and he caught neither of his targets. He needs to get better creating separation on more routes.
Kerry Hyder, DL - After an impressive camp, we were all expecting Hyder to show something, especially against someone like the tackles the Raiders trotted out. Little to show.
Toby Johnson, NT - With Sylvester Williams playing poorly, there’s an opportunity for an enterprising, young nose tackle to take a job. Toby Johnson didn’t.
Chris Jones, CB - Jones got a long look from the Lions, playing 24 snaps. He didn’t stand out in those snaps at all.
Chris Lacy, WR - Three targets, no catches is not a great stat line. He may be off the roster before Brian Brown is.
Jeremiah Ledbetter, DT - I only caught one of Ledbetter’s snaps and it was him getting blown off the line. Considering the trend for the unit, I’d bet the rest looked similarly.
Steve Longa, LB - I think the following tweet sums up his night pretty well.
Ugh. Steve Longa.— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) August 11, 2018
Jamar McGloster, OT - McGloster only had 10 snaps late in the game. He’s getting a look, but only just barely. Not a great sign for him.
Sean McGrath, TE - Only a handful of snaps for both offense and special teams, McGrath isn’t getting a look like he has a shot at the roster.
Rolan Milligan, SS - Milligan was bad, really bad, which is good for Miles Killebrew and literally no one else.
John Montelus, OG - He only had a few snaps and is clearly the last guard on the roster (first one off).
Don Muhlbach, LS - Muhlbach didn’t record a single meaningful statistic. He should be cut immediately. (This line is heavy satire)
Josh Okonye, CB - Okonye didn’t get any defensive snaps at all. Team doesn’t even want to see what he can do.
Teo Redding, WR - Redding got a long look, but only managed a single catch. His style of play (deep/intermediate) doesn’t lend itself to the noodliest of noodle arms he’s being targeted by.
Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB - Maybin was only used on 20 percent of snaps in 2017, but he had the most snaps of all the linebackers against the Raiders. He looked fine against the run, but was terrible in pass defense, normally his strength.
Christian Ringo, DT - Managing only a single tackle on his 26 snaps, Ringo looked poor among a group of poor performers.
Michael Roberts, TE - Roberts played the most of the Lions tight ends, but was only targeted once and he didn’t catch it.
Corey Robinson, OT - Robinson is trying to hold onto his roster spot by holding onto everyone else.
Corey Robinson with a fantastic hold at RT there on the Rudock scramble. Held hair. Held jersey. Held back of shoulder.— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) August 11, 2018
Darnell Sankey, LB - After a decent look in camp, Sankey didn’t get to do much in this one. Possible special teams role, but I doubt we see much on defense.
DeShawn Shead, CB - Shead played a LOT of snaps in this game. It’s rare to see someone play 77 percent of team snaps in the first preseason game, especially one slated to start. I doubt that’s good with so many other corners needing a look.
Dan Skipper, OG/OT - Skipper looks like he always has. Big and slow, not as powerful as he should be at that size.
Teez Tabor, CB - Speed is still giving Tabor fits and it’s likely his role will be that of “cover the bigger, slower guys” and red zone duties.
Teez Tabor covering Martavis Bryant on a drag route is not something you should see in the regular season.— Nate Atkins (@NateAtkins_) August 11, 2018
Jeremiah Valoaga, DE - 22 snaps and not a single tackle, pressure, or anything.
Dwayne Washington, RB - This Washington didn’t play, likely signalling his spot on the roster is RB6 at the moment. Didn’t even get ST work.
JoJo Wicker, DL - Wicker doesn’t have an injury that we know of, but he only played three snaps against the Raiders. Lions gave him a healthy signing bonus to sit.
Sylvester Williams, NT - Williams looked really bad out there. The Lions defensive line is the weakest unit on the team, and Williams may get starting time. Lots of kinks to work out.
Luke Willson, TE - Willson didn’t play much, but he didn’t catch his only target so he lands here.
Zach Zenner, RB - Seven yards on one rush, four yards on his other three. More of the same.
Normally we’d have a short write up on the coaches, but due to the nature of preseason I won’t be doing that until Week 1. Patricia did have a bunch of weird alignments on defense that concern me, but unless it becomes an actual thing on game days I don’t really care. Patriots use preseason for extended practice, Lions seem to be doing the same.
So what do you think? Did I have anyone stock up that you think stunk, or anybody I noted as struggling you think I’m being unfair about? Anyone I didn’t mention that you think needs to be in one category or the other? Let us know in the comments. As always, look forward to hearing your thoughts!