2015 Detroit Lions Training Camp: Top 7 Players with the Most to Prove

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May 27, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions offensive guard Laken Tomlinson (72) during OTA at Detroit Lions Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

5. Laken Tomlinson

Laken Tomlinson was the first-round pick of the Detroit Lions in the 2015 NFL Draft, but the starting job won’t necessarily be handed to him.

Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The addition of the big road-grading, strong run-blocker is certainly a great thing for the Lions. Tomlinson, who was recently named the ACC Athlete of the Year, is more than just a big body on the line however.

The former Duke University Blue Devil is also a psychology major and is extremely intelligent. That above average intelligence may be what actually gets Tomlinson on the field in 2015, as he may be able to remember plays and responsibilities much easier.

Larry Warford, the Detroit Lions right guard, is a guy that Tomlinson is often compared to. Warford was able to make an immediate impact in his rookie season after being selected by the Lions in the third round of the NFL Draft just a few short years ago.

The hope is that with Warford, Tomlinson, and second year center, Travis Swanson in the middle of the offensive line, the team will finally be able to establish a run game and also protect quarterback Matthew Stafford better moving forward.

Warford had this to say of his new teammate, via The Detroit Free Press:

"“He doesn’t make a lot of mental mistakes, which my last two years I’ve seen that a little bit, guys messing things up in their head because it’s hard to learn. “A lot of people don’t understand how complicated offensive-line play is as far as mentally. And he’s come in, he hasn’t made many mental mistakes at all. And he’s a hard worker, you know? I was a mess when I came here. I didn’t know what was going on. I was like, ‘God, I don’t know what to do anymore. Why am I here?’ “He’s taking everything in stride and he’s doing great mentally, physically. He’s the complete package.”"

Certainly a lot of reasons to be optimistic.

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It is worth noting however, that the Tomlinson did not practice with the first-team offense during the teams OTAs back in the spring. Instead, the position was filled by veteran and two-time Lion, Manny Ramirez.

Ramirez was brought back to Detroit via a trade on day one of the NFL Draft. With the way things have played out so far, don’t be surprised to see a great position battle shape up between these two at Detroit Lions training camp!

Next: 4. Kyle Van Noy