Each week, we’ll take a look at how the Detroit Lions' rookies fared in the most recent game, along with trends and stats for the rest of the season.
In prime time, the Lions' rookies did not have their best overall performance. Then again, many of Detroit’s players struggled in an 18-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that the rookies followed along.
As always the day after a game, here’s a peek at how Detroit’s rookie class -- still one of the best in the NFL -- fared on Monday night.
DE Ziggy Ansah (first round, BYU): Ansah was back to normal again Monday night, a week after injuring his shoulder that kept him out of a decent portion of Detroit’s loss to the Eagles. Ansah played 39 snaps but didn’t appear on the stat sheet for the Lions. According to Pro Football Focus, he was credited with two quarterback hurries against Joe Flacco, but didn’t reach him once. It is only the third time this season Ansah has failed to record a tackle.
Ansah’s snap percentages after the opener, when he was recovering from injury:
Arizona -- 70 percent; Washington -- 62 percent; Chicago -- 68 percent; at Green Bay -- 72 percent; Cleveland -- 75 percent; Cincinnati – 70 percent; Dallas -- 21 percent; at Chicago -- DNP/injured; Pittsburgh -- DNP/injured; Tampa Bay -- 77 percent; Green Bay -- 65 percent; at Philadelphia -- 39 percent; Baltimore -- 63 percent.
CB Darius Slay (second round, Mississippi State): Slay was inactive after tearing the meniscus in his knee during practice during the week. The timetable for his return is unknown.
RG Larry Warford (third round, Kentucky): Warford continued his streak of playing every offensive snap this season, but Pro Football Focus graded him out negatively for only the second time this year. According to the site’s grades, this was both his worst overall performance and worst performance in run blocking this season. The site credited him for one of the hits on quarterback Matthew Stafford, but Warford has yet to give up a sack this season. Warford is still rated by the site as the fourth-best guard in the NFL.
DE Devin Taylor (fourth round, South Carolina): Taylor played 23 snaps on Monday night against Baltimore, essentially acting as the backup to Ansah. He was credited with one tackle and one quarterback hit. He was also given a quarterback hurry. Taylor seems to be most effective at this point playing around this number of snaps for the Lions.
P Sam Martin (fifth round, Appalachian State): Martin only handled punts Monday night. David Akers handled kickoffs instead, but Martin continued to punt. He had five punts for a net average of 37.2 yards, but put three of those punts inside the 20-yard line and had one touchback. he had a gross punting average of 46 yards a punt.
RB Theo Riddick (sixth round, Notre Dame): Riddick had two snaps on offense, but was the target of one Stafford pass, turning it into a 6-yard gain and a first down. Riddick also had 20 special-teams snaps, making one special-teams tackle. He has six of those this season.
TE Joseph Fauria (undrafted, UCLA): Another catch, another touchdown for Fauria, who now has turned seven of his 12 receptions this season into scores. It was Fauria’s first catch since Week 12 against Tampa Bay and the fourth straight game where he has been targeted only once. Despite his production, he just seems unable to turn any of that into more playing time.
A brief look at Fauria’s tracking:
Week 1 -- three targets, three catches, one touchdown, 14 percent of snaps (11 plays).
Week 2 -- no targets, no catches, 10 percent of snaps (six plays).
Week 3 -- three targets, one catch, one touchdown, 18 percent of snaps (12 plays).
Week 4 -- no targets, no catches, 20 percent of snaps (13 plays)
Week 5 -- no targets, no catches, 13 percent of snaps (9 plays)
Week 6 -- three targets, three catches, three touchdowns, 31 percent of snaps (23 plays)
Week 7 – four targets, one catch, 40 percent of snaps (31 plays)
Week 8 -- no targets, no catches, 19 percent of snaps (15 plays)
Week 10 -- two targets, one catch, 23 percent of snaps (14 plays)
Week 11 -- two targets, one catch, 27 percent of snaps (20 plays)
Week 12 -- one target, one catch, one touchdown, 12 percent of snaps (9 plays)
Week 13 -- one target, no catches, 23 percent of snaps (19 plays)
Week 14 -- one target (2-point conversion attempt); no catches; 23 percent of snaps (14 plays)
Week 15 -- one target; one catch; one touchdown; 20 percent of snaps (13 plays)
OT LaAdrian Waddle (undrafted, Texas Tech): Like Warford, Waddle graded out negatively for the Lions on Monday night. Although he played every offensive snap, Pro Football Focus is crediting Waddle with allowing two quarterback hurries and two quarterback hits. As a group, they only allowed Stafford to be sacked once, but he was hurried a bunch again.