Detroit Lions 2018 training camp is over. The Lions concluded their final training camp practice on Thursday night. There are still just under two weeks of practices and preseason games before the Lions need to make their roster decisions, but starting Monday, the team enters a more normal practice routine to prepare for the regular season.
So let’s take some time to reflect on the three weeks of practices, and see who stood out on the field. Today’s Question of the Day is:
Who impressed most at Detroit Lions training camp this year?
My answer: I’m going to give you three. First, let’s talk about Marvin Jones Jr. The Lions receiver is coming off the best season of his career, and you may think players like him may rest on their laurels having reached a new level. But Jones looks even better this year. Whether it’s his offseason workouts with now Hall of Famer Randy Moss, or just utter persistence, Jones now looks like the well-rounded receiver that a team needs as their No. 1 outside guy. While many are expecting a breakout year for his teammate Kenny Golladay, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jones take another big step this year.
The man opposite Jones, Darius Slay, is looking just as impressive as the receiver. It’s no surprise given that Slay, too, is coming off a career year in which he was both a Pro Bowler and an All Pro. But seeing him practice alongside his teammates in the secondary, it’s abundantly clear just how far-and-above Slay is to the average NFL cornerback. He moves his hips so fluidly, he hugs the shoulder of the receiver nearly every play, and he has the speed to stay with a deep route. There should be absolutely no question that this is a top cornerback in the league.
But let me offer a third player that isn’t as much of a layup as Jones and Slay. First-round pick Frank Ragnow has been one of the most consistent players in camp. Listening to head coach Matt Patricia over the past month, it’s clear that one of the traits he values most in a player is that exact consistency, and it’s now pretty obvious how Ragnow caught Patricia’s and Bob Quinn’s attention.
Though Ragnow is obviously competing against a mediocre-at-best defensive line in most practices, he has immediately shown he can physically hang with them, despite being in the middle of learning a complicated NFL offense. Ragnow has been near-perfect in pass protection all month, and he’s looked above average as a physical run blocker, too. While some of Quinn’s 2017 draft picks are still struggling in camp, things are looking pretty darn good for his first pick this year.