Detroit Lions: 5 players we’ll be watching closely vs. the Raiders
The Detroit Lions are preparing to face their first preseason opponent of the year in the Oakland Raiders. Here are five players we’ll be watching closely.
The Detroit Lions will kick off their preseason on Friday night, facing the Oakland Raiders at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in California.
Not only does this exhibition mark the debut for new head coach Matt Patricia, but also our first real look at many exciting new players in Detroit. Here are five Lions we will be watching very closely against the Raiders on Friday night.
Kerryon Johnson, RB
Lions fans will get their very first look at new rookie running back Kerryon Johnson in actual game action against the Raiders Friday night. The 2018 second-round pick has been the talk of training camp so far and it will be exciting to see if his excellent play translates to the preseason. Although I’m not sure he’ll be out there long, Johnson should be given enough opportunities to excite fans.
Teo Redding, WR
Although Detroit’s wide receiver corps is already one of the strongest in recent memory, there is always room for a budding, young superstar. And so far this offseason undrafted rookie Teo Redding out of Bowling Green has been that type of prospect for the Lions. It should be fun to watch if he can carry over his eye-popping catches from the practice field to the preseason highlight reel in order to crack this already stocked depth chart.
Teez Tabor, CB
This offseason has been a turbulent one for the 2017 second round selection. Cornerback Teez Tabor was teased as a possible starter earlier this offseason but has struggled since. His lack of speed continues to make him a liability on deep throws and could rear its ugly head against the Raiders. Tabor is fighting off other, more experienced corners in Nevin Lawson and DeShawn Shead for a role in this secondary. He needs a strong showing Friday night.
Jeremiah Valoaga, DE
In his preseason debut last year, rookie defensive end Jeremiah Valoaga exploded for six tackles, one sack, and a pass defend. Yet Valoaga was unable to produce that same stat line in a combined nine games last season. Will the 23-year old be able to shine once again with another offseason training program under his belt? Let’s see.
Any tight end
The Lions just need someone to step up at the tight end position. Former fourth rounder Michael Roberts looked promising early but has struggled ever since suffering a leg injury. There are plenty of candidates in Roberts, Luke Willson, Levine Toilolo, and Hakeem Valles. Detroit needs one or more of these tight ends to really separate themselves from the pack on Friday night.