Offseason organized team activities and minicamps are breeding grounds for optimistic and flattering reports on players. It’s akin to the start of spring training where seemingly every baseball player is “in the best shape of his life”.
Detroit Lions rookie cornerback Bill Bentley is the subject of such a report from the Detroit Free Press but this one struck me a little differently and gives concrete evidence beyond non-contact drills in shells as to why Bentley could be on a path towards early success. It comes in the form of a quote from Nate Burleson, a player that has had the chance to face Bentley in offense vs. defense drills.
For me, some of these young guys, they feel like they know it all. With him, he’s just open and soaking it up like a sponge, and I think it’s going to help him a lot. And he probably is going to be one of the guys that’s going to play this year.
It’s no guarantee that Bentley will play a significant role for the Lions in 2012 and no guarantee that we’ll look back upon his selection in the third round as a steal of a pick. It is, however, an encouraging foundation and should help assuage discontent with the Lions waiting until the third round to draft a cornerback.