The Detroit Lions have wrapped up their OTAs and are gearing up for minicamp. Normally not much happens at OTAs but with so many players vying for a spot on the roster the last few weeks were very important.
Still there are other players almost guaranteed a roster spot that have a lot to prove this season. With contracts nearing their end they must perform now if they hope to leave Detroit with a championship legacy.
Here are a few things we learned from the Lions Organized Team Activites
Ryan Broyles May Be Done In Detroit
It hasn’t been mentioned much but Ryan Broyles was clearly an after-thought during OTAs. He was absent for the most part and it appears the Lions plan to moving as evidenced by the parade of free agent wideouts the team either signed or have brought in for workouts. All of this is bad news for Broyles who struggled to make it off the inactive list for the majority of last season despite numerous injuries to the receiving corp.
At the time of this post the team has not made any official move to release or trade Broyles but the writing is on the wall for the Lions former second round pick.
Eric Ebron Is A Project
The 10th overall pick in the 2014 draft may be more of a project than the Lions anticipated. Ebron struggled throughout OTAs with dropped passes, a problem that plagued him all of last season. The Lions are hoping to get some serious production out of Ebron this season as the team third option in the passing game. Initial indications this offseason are that Ebron still needs a lot of work. This will be a big story as the Lions enter training camp at the end of July.
More from SideLion Report
- Top 5 revenge games on the Detroit Lions 2023 schedule
- Lions center Frank Ragnow optimistic about continuing to play through toe injury
- Detroit Lions 2023 preseason schedule: Dates, times and opponents
- A new contract extension projection for Lions quarterback Jared Goff
- 4 wide receivers the Detroit Lions could still look to acquire this offseason
The Lions Are Suddenly Deep At Corner
For as long as I can remember the Lions have had a gaping hole at the cornerback position. That started to turn around in 2014 with the surprise performance of Rashean Mathis and the developement of Darius Slay. The Lions bolstered the position when they drafted defensive back Quandre Diggs out of Texas this year. Diggs has performed well so far and could figure into a starting role in the slot this season. With Bill Bently and Nevin Lawson set to return from injury, cornerback might be a strength of the defense for the first time in decades.
Read Related: Quandre Diggs: An In Depth Scouting Report
The Pressure In On Matthew Stafford
The Detroit Lions have put a lot of resources into improving the offensive line and running game this season. They added guard Laken Tomlinson and Ameer Abdullah in the draft to balance the Lions offensive attack. The team has also added depth to the receiving corp with the signing of Lance Moore. With more weapons at his disposal than at any other point in his career, the bottom line is that Matthew Stafford has no excuse in 2015.
When Stafford signed his contract extension three years ago he became one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the game despite producing very little in the way of playoff performance. Stafford’s contract has since come in-line with his on-field performance, ranking near the middle of the pack for quarterback salary. While Stafford was overpaid on the front end of this deal, the Lions are expecting a backend payoff in the form of playoff success.
If Stafford is going to realize the potential that made him a first overall pick in 2009 he must lead the team to Superbowl in the next two seasons. Otherwise the window will close tightly on this group of veteran players who have been a major disappointment so far.
The Linebackers Are Underrated
With all the attention being paid to the offensive line and the running game, the linebackers have flown under the radar this offseason. Stephen Tulloch is back and ready to go after tearing up his knee in week 3 of last season. Kyle Van Noy is motivated after an injury shortened rookie season and Tahir Whitehead comes into camp confident after filling in for Tulloch last season. Lets not forget about DeAndre Levy who posted another career best season in 2015 earning him a return appearance of the NFLs Top 100 list.
Barring injury its the linebackers that could be the big story when the dust settles on the 2015 season. Solid play from this group will go along way to filling in the hole left by all-pro defensive tackle N’Damukong Suh.