SLR Roundtable: Detroit Lions Roster, Preseason Recap, Predictions

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Aug 20, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Detroit Lions running back Zach Zenner (41) carries the ball past Washington Redskins linebacker Dyshawn Davis (48) in the third quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 21-17. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

2. Which player from each side of the stood out to you the most?

Platte: Aside from Stafford and Tate looking good, the biggest standouts to me were UDFA Zach Zenner and 2nd year UDFA Kerry Hyder. I was high on Zenner prior to the draft, but he’s delivered big time. Hyder is a guy I always thought of as a camp body, but he’s had a quietly solid preseason that he capped off with 3 FR against the Bills. Not rosterable yet, but worth developing.

Stahl: Zenner on O and Walker on D. Didn’t know what we were getting in both cases. Please last surprises.

Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Mac: On defense, Phillip Hunt stood out most for me. At 6’1 Hunt doesn’t fit the height and length profile the Lions have coveted from their defensive linemen of late, but he consistently showed the most explosive first step of any of the edge rushers I saw on the team this preseason; Ansah excluded.

On offense, I’ll forego the usual suspects and hone in on Laken Tomlinson. Tomlinson graded out well against lesser competition early in camp but in the 3rd preseason game he saw extended snaps against the Jaguars 1st team defense.

On Abdullah’s 21-yard screen play Tomlinson showed why he was worth a 1st round pick. The play started with Tomlinson making a crucial chip block on the opposing defensive tackle. Had he simply released without making this block, the play would probably have ended with a sack, incompletion or worse.

Once the block was made, Tomlinson slipped out to the second level and made a decent cut block on a linebacker. In the absence of Tomlinson’s effort Abdullah may have been stopped for an 8-yard gain. Everyone conceded to his strength, but smarts and athleticism are what made Tomlinson a good late first round choice.

DeGain: On the defensive side of the ball, I really was impressed by Cudjo. I know we are deep at d tackle as it is, but I really like the kid. He comes out with force and I hope they keep him around. On the offensive side of the ball, Zack Zenner really won me over. Watching him in camp, I wasn’t very impressed. But, during the games, he came out big. Granted against mostly 2nd and 3rd string defensive guys, but he runs with purpose.

Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Payton: I’d have to go back to Stafford. I’ve been thoroughly impressed with what I’ve seen from him thus far. Stafford has shown some nice foot work and sound decision-making in the preseason. Stafford seems less erratic than normal as well. Credit has to go to the offensive line for giving him a pocket to work from.

Defensively it has to be Tyrunn Walker. Walker has shown to be a true pass rushing threat that has been pushing around offensive lineman all preseason. At this point Walker looks to be what many hoped Nick Fairley would be someday.

Williams: On the offense the obvious answer is Zach Zenner. With or without the three straight 2,000+ yard seasons in college, the heart that focus that this kid showed as an UDFA is impossible to recognize and appreciate.

On the defense I too have to go Tyrunn Walker. For me, he answered any questions anyone had concerning his power off the ball.

Next: The Disapointments