5 Detroit Lions who are already turning heads at OTAs

Through the first week of OTAs, these five Detroit Lions have made a quick impression.
Kimberly P. Mitchell / USA TODAY NETWORK
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4. LB Jack Campbell

In an effort to get him on the field as much as possible last year as a rookie, the Lions tried Campbell out at edge rusher sometimes. He eventually settled into a more normal off-ball linebacker role as the season went on, and that's obviously where his future is.

Before Thursday's practice, defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn mentioned Campbell's all-around progress through just two days (to that point) of OTA practice.

"Let me tell you, first off he’s a man. He’s a grown man. He’s really taken control of this offseason the way that he should take control of it," Glenn said. "He’s a true MIKE backer. He’s a guy that lives, breathes green-dot mentality as a MIKE backer. He’s done a really good job, and all our guys have, of transforming their body because they’ve had a true offseason in the NFL. So he’s done a good job of that. And then just watching him on the field. His zone drop, his mentality as far as going after the football has been outstanding. We’ve only had two days of practice and he’s been doing a heckuva job. Just the way he’s leading the men, as far as defense, is impressive to see.” 

Alex Anzalone will likely wear the "green dot" as the Lions' defensive signal caller for as long as he's on the team. But Campbell is clearly being groomed for the role, if not now than surely down the road, and overall it's not shocking to hear Glenn say the second-year man has taken to it nicely.

3. PK Michael Badgley

Badgley is ripe to be replaced until further notice, and right now he's competing with undrafted rookie James Turner. The rub on Badgley is his lack of long-distance range, particularly outdoors, but special teams coach Dave Fipp noted how the Lions' incumbent kicker has worked on extending that range.

"He’s (Badgley) worked hard on bringing his range out maybe a little bit further than it’s been and has looked good doing it,” Fipp said on Thursday.

Justin Rogers of the Detroit News noted that Badgley "banged home several 50-plus-yard field goals working on the side, often clearing the crossbar with several yards to spare" during Thursday's practice. Other reporters noted Badgley made 52 and 60-yard field goals during situational drills that were more prominent for all to see.

Showing better range on the practice field in May might not mean a thing, or it may come to mean a lot as Badgley staves on whatever level of actual competition there is for his job. But those who wanted to see or hear about something along that line got it based on reports from Thursday's practice.