Detroit Lions OTAs are scheduled to begin on Tuesday, opening up the period of competitive offensive vs. defense drills for the first time this offseason—albeit without full contact. Excitement is palpable, as the expectations for this Lions team are higher than they’ve been in several decades. When a NFC North crown is the expectation, you know things are for real.
But OTAs are going to be exciting for a ton of other reasons, too. Not only will this be our first opportunity to see the Lions 2023 NFL Draft class match up against the veterans, but there are also a ton of returning players who we’ll see for the first time in extended action. Jameson Williams missed the entire offseason program last year, so we’ve only seen him in limited snaps on gameday. How will he look against the Lions revamped secondary when he’s (presumably) playing every snap? What about James Mitchell? Are we overlooking him after he missed much of last year’s offseason program? Can Josh Paschal take a Year 2 jump? Will we even see Levi Onwuzurike? Is Halapoulivaati Vaitai ready to take the starting job at right guard back?
Then there’s all of the exciting free agent additions. C.J. Gardner-Johnson could have some epic battles with Amon-Ra St. Brown. Cameron Sutton’s leadership should be fun to watch. And it will be interesting to see how far along Emmanuel Moseley is in his rehab.
In other words, there are plenty of exciting storylines to follow as OTAs get underway. But today’s Question of the Day is:
Which Lions player are you most excited to see at OTAs?
My answer: It has to be Jameson Williams. We’ve seen him in spurts, but not nearly enough to get a good understanding of how far he’s progressed as an NFL player and how dangerous of a weapon he will be when he’s finally back on the field at full health. The Lions invested a ton of draft capital in him, so expectations are extremely high. I can’t wait to see some of those expectations realized on the field, even if it is just in a practice setting.
He also, obviously, has a lot to answer for. This will be his first time in front of Detroit media since his gambling suspension, and we have not heard a peep out of him yet—outside of a brief statement given through his agency. There’s no guarantee he’ll agree to be interviewed over the next few weeks, but personally, I would like to hear him answer a few questions about the situation. There are plenty of legitimate questions about his maturity, and I’d love to know how this ordeal has changed him, if at all.
More importantly, though, it’s all about the football. Hopefully, there’s been a clear development of chemistry between him and Jared Goff this offseason, and we’ll see the talent the Lions eagerly acquired on draft night a year ago.