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5 things we learned from the Detroit Lions’ preseason finale vs. Cleveland Browns

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Here’s what we learned from Thursday night.

Detroit Lions v Cleveland Browns Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

You never want to overreact to the preseason, especially the fourth game. The Detroit Lions didn’t play any starters against the Cleveland Browns, and they didn’t play many primary backups, either.

That being said, we learned a few things about the team on Thursday night.

The Lions are going shopping for an offensive lineman

The Lions reserve offensive linemen have been terrible all preseason, and it was no different on Thursday. No one was absolved from blame against the Browns, as the Lions allowed three first-half sacks, and couldn’t get a running game going. The worst offenders were players that actually have a chance at making the final roster: offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby and rookie Beau Benzschawel, who got some reps at center.

The biggest winner among the offensive line reserves was Oday Aboushi, who didn’t appear to play. That’s probably a sign he’s safe, but if the Lions don’t add an offensive lineman after this weekend’s cuts, I’d be very surprised.

The Lions have a tough decision at cornerback

We’ve talked a long time about the Lions’ talent at safety, but the depth at cornerback looks just as tough to settle. Thursday complicated Detroit’s depth chart for several reasons, including:

  • Teez Tabor not playing
  • Amani Oruwariye suffering an injury
  • Mike Ford and Jamar Summers making a lot of plays

The Lions are likely to only keep six corners, but not knowing the health of Tabor and Oruwariye makes their projected depth almost impossible to predict.

The Lions’ defensive depth is... good?

The Lions defense looked strong all night, partially due to the good play of the aforementioned defensive backs, partially due to some good line play. Mitchell Loewen and Eric Lee made strong cases for roster spots, while Andrew Adams and C.J. Moore offered solid play at the back end.

Mark Thompson was the Lions’ best preseason running back

Granted Thompson got more opportunities than any other Lions back, but the former Florida Gator made the most of his opportunities and showed why the Lions let Zach Zenner go earlier in the week.

Thompson may miss out on the final roster due to the numbers game, but he is a shoo-in for the practice squad if he clears waivers. But don’t be too surprised if Thompson makes a 53-man squad this year—including Detroit’s.

Travis Fulgham earned a roster spot

Though we saw some good special teams play from Brandon Powell, rookie Travis Fulgham had the best day as a receiver. He finished the night with three catches for 80 yards, and nearly had another big play but was barely out of bounds.

Throughout the entire preseason, Fulgham flashed his ability to make big plays. Though he was playing until the very end of the fourth preseason game, I think he’s distanced himself from the rest of the receiver depth.