Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
I guess the easy cop out here would be to place every player the Detroit Lions cut as a “Stock Down” player and the 75 that were not as, well, not. Since this week benefits both from a preseason game against the Jaguars and team first cuts, there is plenty of information that can be gathered both from the game and from the moves the team made.
We already went into detail on those that didn’t make the 2014 Detroit Lions roster, but what can we learn from those that remain?
When we looked at Tahir Whitehead as a potential weapon in the Lions new defense, it was primarily as a possible sub rusher. Plug him into a few neat packages built with his athleticism in mind and let him wreak havoc in the backfield. Whitehead was having none of that sub package nonsense, however, and had a straight up coming out party against the Jaguars. He didn’t just leapfrog Ashlee Palmer on the depth chart, he ninja flipped the Lions 2013 starting LB and sprinted so far ahead that heads spun.
Whitehead excelled in every area of the game, but he was able to showcase the speed and blitzing ability that made the Lions trade up to pick him in 2012. The Lions were so impressed that they went out and changed the unofficial depth chart to reflect him as the starting Sam LB. While those depth charts mean less than a Derrick Williams rookie card, it’s nice to know that even the Lions’ PR staff knows he’s starter material.
Kyle Van Noy
It’s never a good things when a player gets injured, but it’s even worse when that rookie was highly drafted and his reserve played as out of their head as Whitehead did in Van Noy’s absence. The Lions’ 2014 2nd round pick has had an up and down preseason, with so much being asked of him but seemed to confirm that it would be a rockier road to Van Noy paying off as a draft pick than the Detroit Lions were banking on.
It is presently unknown what injury Van Noy is dealing with, all that is known is that it is an abdominal injury of some sort. The fear is that he is dealing with a sports hernia, which bears a recovery time of 4-6 weeks. That puts the start of his season in jeopardy and if Whitehead continues to improve it will be difficult to break back into the lineup.