Detroit Lions Rookie Camp Recap Day One
All were present and accounted for during the first day of Detroit Lions Rookie Camp. The Detroit Lions draft picks, undrafted free agents and some 31 tryout players worked out for the coaching staff in Allen Park on Friday. Prior to camp five of the Lions draft picks signed rookie contracts with the exception of the Ameer abdullah and Laken Tomlinson who are still in negotiations but that didn’t stop them from attending.
The biggest news came from Ameer Abdullah who took reps with the punt return unit in a clear sign that the Lions plan on using the former Cornhusker on special teams this season. Detroit ranked 15th in punt return average (8.9) in 2014. Abdullah’s big play ability and 4.4 speed could help the Lion improve that number in 2015.
Abdullah hasn’t returned punts since 2012 but when he did he averaged 13.1 per return with 1 touchdown. His most recent success came on kickoff returns in 2014 where he averaged 28 yards per attempt.
One of the big concerns for Ameer Abdullah coming out of college was ball security. Something the Lions coaching staff addressed immediately during rookie camp.
Meanwhile Laken Tomlinson is getting used to being on other side of the line. Tomlinson, who is penciled in at left guard, told Lions insider Tim Twentyman that he has always played right guard, a position already occupied by Larry Warford.
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There were also 31 tryout players in camp vying for a contract. Included on the lst are some name Michigan sports fans might find familiar.
Rob Bolden – Eastern Michigan – QB The former Nitnany Lions and LSU Tiger came to Eastern Michigan as a transfer student with hopes of playing quarterback again. In six games last season Bolden passed for 399 yards four touchdowns and five interceptions.
Justin Cherocci – Central Michigan – LB Cherocci earned first team All-MAC honors serving as a relentless run stuffer for the Chippewas last season.
Erik Lora – Eastern Illinois – WR Lora set the NCAA record for receptions in a single season (126) in 2012. He couldn’t catch on with the Vikings last season but could catch on with the Lions if he can show some versatility and help on special teams.
Delonte Howell – Michigan -CB Was a rotational player in the Michigan secondary getting just one start over his career. He is undersized at 5 -8″ but could catch on as a special teams player for Detroit.