Detroit Lions: Who will emerge as Training Camp darlings?
Summer time is when young talent make their push for the final roster. Which Detroit Lions’ players will emerge as 2018 training camp darlings?
Summer is finally upon us and that means we have a little over a month before the Detroit Lions’ veterans report to camp—the rookies report on July 19th.
Each offseason, one of my favorite things to look forward to is whether or not any of that year’s veteran or undrafted free agents are able to make enough of an impact in camp to make the final 53-man roster.
In the recent past, guys like Zach Zenner, Kerry Hyder, Jace Billingsley and Jeremiah Valoaga have all come to Detroit and flashed enough of their talent in camp to make the final roster.
Kerry Hyder parlayed his roster spot into an unexpected, team leading 8 sack performance in 2016, but was unable to capitalize in 2017 by missing the entire season with a torn Achilles.
Zenner and Billingsley both have daunting, uphill battles ahead of them at running back and wide receiver respectively if they hope to return to the final 53 man roster.
Jeremiah Valoaga made his presence felt during a 2017 mock game.
Unfortunately, a successful camp does not always translate to regular season success and the opposite can also be true. Some players can turn a relatively quiet camp into a productive regular season.
There’s no perfect formula that predicts regular season success but when an unknown player sets the world on fire during camp, it sure makes the dog days of summer that much more interesting.
Detroit initially signed 16 UDFAs this offseason and so far wide receivers Teo Redding and Deontez Alexander have been the early fan favorites.
Personally, I am hoping that maybe Detroit can develop DT Josh Fatu from USC and DE Jojo Wicker from Arizona State into productive members of their defensive line rotation.
I really feel like Lions head coach, Matt Patricia will really be able to maximize all of the talent that he has available to him on the defensive side of the ball.
Next: Fairly ranking Matthew Stafford and a decade of No. 1 picks
What do you think fellow Detroit Lions fans? Which UDFAs would you prefer to see stick with the team? A standout wide receiver, a stout defensive lineman, or none of the above?
Hit me up in the comments below and let me know what you think!