While training camp is mostly about hype and excitement around your favorite team, the reality is that most of that hype is bloated and over-exaggerated. Not every player is truly in the best shape of their life heading into camp. The offense rarely is the sharpest it’s ever been, and even if it was, it would be pretty darn hard to tell in a practice setting. It could all fall apart in just one scrimmage.
So while we love hyping players and cradle Hope like a loved one, let’s take a dose of reality to start the week. Not everyone in Detroit Lions camp is helping out their cause. If everyone was truly improved from their past, there would be no way to whittle down this 90-man roster to 53.
Having been at all eight practices thus far, I can tell you, with certainty, that a handful of players are struggling, and some of those players came into 2018 with huge expectations. So today’s Question of the Day is:
Which Lions player has been the most disappointing in training camp thus far?
My answer: I am going to give you one for the offense and one for the defense.
On defense, it has to be Miles Killebrew. A player once thought to be Detroit’s future at strong safety, I’ve barely noticed Killebrew on the field at all. It’s not necessarily his fault that he hasn’t impressed at camp, because it seems he’s so far down on the depth chart that he’s rarely given the opportunity to shine. That being said, the fact that it appears the likes of Rolan Milligan and Tracy Walker have already surpassed him on the depth chart cannot be a good sign for his future. And even when Killebrew is on the field, he isn’t making plays. I think he is very much on the roster bubble right now, and I have him on the outside looking in.
Offensively, we keep hearing about how much the Lions love Michael Roberts and how 2018 will be a breakout year for the 2017 fourth-round pick. But I haven’t seen much in camp. Granted, he missed a few practices due to an injury, but I just haven’t seen enough in his game to warrant any legitimate hype for 2018.
He’s been an inconsistent blocker, at best, and even with those big hands of his, he’s been prone to the occasional drop.
I won’t go as far as Lions Wire’s Jeff Risdon and suggest he may be a surprise cut this year. However, if he doesn’t start showing improvement, I think he’ll enter the season as the team’s third tight end on the depth chart. Considering Roberts is already coming off a pretty lackluster rookie year, another season buried on the depth chart would be a pretty big hole to climb out of. Hopefully, Roberts turns it around when the preseason begins.