The Detroit Lions head back to the practice field on Wednesday for their second week of Organized Team Activities. The team will practice three days in a row before breaking until June 4 for mandatory minicamp.
Last week, the Lions set the table for what we can expect during OTAs. We know there are a handful of players that are working through injuries, and we have a general idea of where some of the Lions’ newest players will be playing.
So now that expectations are a little different than they were last week, here are the four player/positions I’ll be keeping a close eye on during Week 2 of OTAs.
The Lions moved Ragnow to center for at least two of the practices last week, and the further we move along in the offseason, the greater chance this is a permanent move. So far, it’s been rare for the Lions to make a move like this without sticking with it, but Detroit has also been preaching position versatility extra loud this year, so there’s a chance last week was much ado about nothing.
Travis Fulgham/Tommylee Lewis/Brandon Powell
Last week, Marvin Jones Jr. and Kenny Golladay sat out of the open practice, presumably for injury reasons. On Tuesday, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell seemed to indicate that will continue this week.
“We’re not seeing our two best guys right now because they’re sitting out with their rehab,” Bevell said.
That means the Lions roster bubble players at wide receiver will have the opportunity to shine. Can rookie Travis Fulgham make a good early impression? Will Brandon Powell build upon a strong finish to 2018? Can a guy like Tommylee Lewis prove why he was signed in free agency? Or will someone else like Tom Kennedy or Jordan Smallwood emerge?
According to linebacker coach Al Golden, Davis came into OTAs at the biggest weight he’s ever been at, and is carrying it well. The coaching staff seems particularly pumped about Davis’s third year, and with an investment at the linebacker position with their second (Jahlani Tavai) and fourth-round picks (Austin Bryant), Davis will have a little more freedom to do what he pleases.
It may be a little early in the process to see Detroit utilize Davis in all the ways they want to—Tavai likely needs plenty of time before he’s getting reps with the first team—but I’m definitely going to still take a closer look at the bigger, stronger Jarrad Davis this week.
Teez Tabor/Amani Oruwariye/Rashaan Melvin/Marcus Cooper
With Darius Slay still expected to be out of OTAs, now is the opportunity for the Lions’ outside corners to make an impression. Marcus Cooper, Rashaan Melvin and Amani Oruwariye all have the length (6-foot-2) to fit what the Lions like in their outside defensive backs, but it was Teez Tabor (6-foot flat) who made the biggest impression in Week 1 of OTAs.
Without pads in practice, cornerback is one of the few positions that can be still be assessed for its level of play, and there may not be a camp battle more intriguing than Detroit’s CB2 position.