The Detroit Lions opened up preseason with an exciting come from behind win against the Cleveland Browns and look to build on that momentum Friday against Oakland.
Both team’s will feature two top-ten selections in the 2014 draft in Khalil Mack (fifth overall) and Eric Ebron (tenth overall). We’ll also get to see one of the top rookie quarterbacks for the second consecutive week in Derek Carr.
Aside from those story lines, here are the Detroit Lions to watch for against the Raiders
Winn was impressive last Saturday against Cleveland. He showed a ton of speed and power racking up 39 rushing yards and showed ability to catch out of the backfield- an absolute must in the Lions offense- with 23 receiving yards.
Mikel Leshoure was supposed to be the Lions’ version of Marshawn Lynch, but Leshoure suffered an Achilles injuryhis first offseason in Detroit and hasn’t regained his burst since. If Winn can keep the ball secure and replicate his performance, there’s an opportunity for him to make the roster.
Broyles looked exceptionally well for a guy coming off two major leg injuries. He had three catches for 27 yards and displayed good yards after the catch on a first down conversion.
If Broyles can expand on his performance last week and most importantly show consistency over the next two preseason games, then he should be a lock for the third receiving spot behind Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate.
Early reports indicated that Ogletree was the odds on favorite to win the third receiver spot behind Johnson and Tate, but after the performance from Ryan Broyles last week the competition is far from over.
If Ogletree wants to remain the favorite to land the third receiver spot then he will have to show a lot more than he did last week.
Despite Ebron’s unspectacular outing (one catch for two yards) in Cleveland he showed his versatility lining up all over the place. Whether Ebron was in the backfield, in-line, in the slot, or out wide he his a threat.
Look for Ebron to play a few more snaps with the first unit this week and elaborate on his performance against Cleveland.
If you want to get on the coaches radars scoring the game winning touchdown is a good start. When the Lions drafted Fuller in 2012 I didn’t have high expectations for him, but I really liked his upside. Reports have been positive this offseason regarding Fuller’s improvement and he should see more opportunities in this week’s game.
Unlike previous seasons, it feels like the Lions have good depth at wide receiver.
Swanson was drafted to be the Lions center of the future. Until Dominic Raiola’s level of play drops off or Raiola retires Swanson will have to sit back and learn the ropes and part of his learning curve will be learning a new position, guard. The Lions typically carry seven lineman on their game day roster and with spots open at interior lineman Swanson has a good chance to make the roster.
Jim Caldwell had nothing but positive things to say about Swanson.
Obviously, he hasn’t arrived yet, but I think he’s working at it. He studies awfully hard, just in terms of the material we’ve given him but you can tell he’s got a natural bit of leadership. He’s a natural leader in there (and) the guys listen to him. I think it’s going to help if you play center and you know everything that is going on around you, you can play guard.
Outside of a botched snap late in last week’s preseason game when he was playing center, Swanson has held his own.