Detroit Lions: Former second rounder struggling early at camp

Detroit Lions. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

After some initial rumblings about this former second-round selection ascending to a starting role for the Detroit Lions, he comes out flat to start training camp.

Since taking over a general manager of the Detroit Lions in 2016, Bob Quinn has been heralded as one of the brightest executives in the NFL. And that comes on the heels of two solid back-to-back drafts prior to 2018.

But in his first two drafts, Quinn has taken risks on players who have yet to pan out. Those prospects being Alabama defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson and Florida cornerback Teez Tabor. Both prospects were touted as possible first round picks at some point prior to their respective drafts. And both players fell to the Lions in the second round for various reasons.

For Robinson, his tumble down draft boards was a result of a poor combine performance and a lack of consistency during his college career.

For Tabor, his poor pre-draft workouts sunk his possible first-round selection as well. But his production for the Gators was stellar, recording 73 total tackles, 23 pass defends and eight interceptions during his final two years at Florida.

The biggest concern surrounding Tabor for many NFL teams was his lack of top-tier athletic ability. Posting a mediocre 4.62 forty time and a 31-inch vertical jump, it was questioned whether the young cornerback prospect had the physical skills to compete with the league’s top wide receivers.

The Lions decided to take a gamble on Tabor, drafting him 53rd overall in 2017. But Detroit was dedicated to developing the young corner slowly. So slow in fact, Tabor was a healthy scratch through the first five games of his rookie season.

Tabor really didn’t start seeing significant defensive snaps until Week 13. So his first-year was essentially a wash. But that slow start seemed to pay off this year, as Tabor lined up opposite Pro Bowler Darius Slay as one of the Lions’ starting cornerbacks throughout their offseason practices.

The 22-year old was the favorite to emerge as the regular season starter entering training camp. But according to The Detroit News’ Justin Rogers, Tabor has unfortunately had some early struggles.

"“Cornerback Teez Tabor had some struggles in coverage. He prevented an early completion to Marvin Jones in two-on-two work, but probably would have drew a flag for holding after getting an arm around the receiver’s neck out of his break. Tabor was also bested by Kenny Golladay and undrafted rookie receiver Brandon Powell on snaps.”"

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It’s a bad start to training camp for Teez Tabor, who still has to prove himself to new head coach Matt Patricia. Tabor must prove that his lack of athletic ability will not be a hindrance for this Lions’ defense. As a former second-round pick, he must also prove that Detroit’s gamble to draft him was worth the risk.