The Detroit Lions’ first preseason game of 2023 is complete to mixed results.
That is not an unexpected result for a preseason game, as a lot of snaps are dedicated towards depth position battles. This can mean some standout performances, but it can also mean some players falling behind.
Yet if these players get the vote of confidence and survive another week in training camp, it will mean a chance to regroup and rebound in the Lions’ second preseason game. The Lions have the Jacksonville Jaguars incoming—which players need to use that game to revive their stock?
Today’s Question of the Day is:
Which players needs to rebound in the next preseason game?
My answers: My top three picks are Dylan Drummond, Jermar Jefferson, and Matt Nelson.
Nate Sudfeld is an obvious pick, but I instead want to look at one of his targets. Drummond had a decent enough game against the Giants, notching a pair of catches for 12 yards, plus a missed touchdown due to a poor throw. The reason why I think Drummond needs a rebound is that the competition around him stepped up further. Chase Cota led the offense in receiving yards (and PFF grades). Maurice Alexander took a punt return to the house. Antoine Green looked good on offense and special teams. The wide receiver battle is close, and Drummond needs to keep pace.
Jefferson missed the first preseason game with injury, a notable hit to his stock. Jahmyr Gibbs was going to see action for the first quarter or so, and with Craig Reynolds unavailable, Jefferson missed a prime opportunity on offense. The third and potential fourth running back spots are wide open. Thankfully for Jefferson, none of the other backs—Mohamed Ibrahim, Devine Ozigbo, and Benny Snell—ran away with things, but he could use the live game reps on offense and special teams. I think Jefferson is the more talented of the four backs, but he needs to show it on tape.
Nelson appears to be a favorite for the backup tackle spot, but his performance against the Giants was lacking. For as good as Nelson has been as a sixth lineman, his starting reps have disappointed, and it continued in the preseason. The lack of capable tackle depth is apparent across the league, but Nelson in particular feels like a steep drop from Taylor Decker or Penei Sewell. He faces stiff competition from Germain Ifedi for the top backup, and another poor performance could lead to him being outside the roster bubble.
Which Lions players need to step up after their outing versus the Giants? Scroll down to the comments and share your thoughts.