The first week of OTAs is wrapped up. The Detroit Lions, for the first time in 2017, have on-field football performances to look at as they make initial evaluations of what the franchise has.
That, of course, includes the rookies and newcomers. So who stood out?
That’s today’s Lions mailbag question. To ask a question for a future mailbag, use the hashtag #LionsMailbag on Twitter, email me at email@example.com or drop at note on Twitter @mikerothstein or on Facebook.
— Jakethisguyrighthere (@jakethisguyhere) May 25, 2017
The two fastest answers here are linebacker Jarrad Davis and receiver Kenny Golladay. That those two players, in particular, have been noticeable is a good thing for the Lions, too, because they come at positions of need.
Davis got the Taylor Decker treatment -- meaning he was inserted with the starters right away and held up well enough for a rookie in his first week of unpadded NFL practice. There were some mistakes during the open OTA, but that was to be expected. Detroit clearly believes in Davis as the middle linebacker of the future, and if he remains in the middle once Tahir Whitehead returns from injury, that should tell you how Detroit feels about him this year.
Golladay just looked different from the other receivers. Not better or worse, just different. He's a longer, rangier body than Golden Tate or Marvin Jones. He has good leaping ability and a great catch radius. His hands, in the one practice we’ve seen so far, looked pretty good, too. That’s important because it sometimes takes time to adjust to Matthew Stafford's high-velocity throws. His stride really stood out, though. It’s long and he covers a lot of ground really fast. I’m not -- I repeat, NOT -- making the Calvin Johnson comparison, but his stride is similar. That’s mostly because they are both taller receivers.
It’s tough to gauge anything with the linemen brought in during free agency because of the lack of pads or hitting, so can’t say much there until training camp. Teez Tabor didn’t do much in the open drills and I didn’t spot Jamal Agnew doing much of anything. Jalen Reeves-Maybin looked OK, but he’s a rookie and it’s early.
The other receiver who stood out -- and I mentioned it Wednesday -- was Jared Abbrederis. He’s the type of player who could end up being a surprise to make a roster push, like Kerry Hyder, Taylor Boggs and George Johnson before him. There’s always one or two players to do that. Abbrederis will be someone to pay attention to.