The Detroit Lions training camp kicks off in just a few days and we are here to highlight what you need to watch for before the show begins.
Rookies report to camp on July 22nd and will look to make their mark before the veterans arrive on July 27th.
Battle For Right Tackle
Last season’s training camp battle at right tackle produced an undrafted free agent in LaAdrian Waddle who ended up starting most of the season at right tackle. His competition this year will be Corey Hillard and undrafted free agent Cornelius Lucas, who I highlighted earlier in the offseason as a potential candidate to unseat Waddle.
Battle For Starting Cornerback Opposite Of Darius Slay
Earlier in the offseason I might have made the heading “Battle for starting cornerback opposite of Rashean Mathis,” but I expect a breakout year for Slay.
It sounds crazy to think that in his second year he might be the best cornerback on the Lions roster, but that just might be the case. With the release of Chris Houston the team has a serious void at corner. Rashean Mathis was a pleasant surprise last year, but does he have enough left in the tank at 33?
Another veteran to watch is Cassius Vaughn. Aside from Mathis, Vaughn has more experience than any other corner on the roster and could excel in Teryl Austin’s press coverage system.
The Lions are banking on a big leap from the 2012 draft class which includes Bill Bentley, Chris Greenwood and Jonte Green. If they can get valuable playing time from just one of those guys the defense should reach a new level.
Battle For Tight End
I love Eric Ebron and he certainly has a chance to be a game changer. The Lions have plans to use him like Jimmy Graham, but I think we should pump the breaks a little bit. First, nothing in the NFL is given, it’s earned.
With productive players ahead of him in Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria, Ebron will certainly have to earn his role. To do that he’ll need to focus more about X’s and O’s and less about Jimmy Graham’s contract.
If Ebron invests him self 100 percent in the play book this offseason, it’ll be hard to not consider him the favorite to start this season.