5 players who must shine at Detroit Lions minicamp

Mandatory minicamp is going this week for the Detroit Lions, and these five players must seize the opportunity to stand out.
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The next phase of the Detroit Lions offseason is coming this week, with a three-day mandatory minicamp starting Tuesday. Pads still won't be on this week, but for a certain group of players any opportunity to shine on the practice field is important on some level.

Maybe it's asserting yourself in a battle for a roster, or further solidifying the progress made from earlier offseason work. Maybe an injury recovery is in play, and simply being able to participate in minicamp is an an important step for that. For others, the sheer benefit of practice reps is clear.

After three more days of voluntary OTAs next week (June 10-12), the Lions will go on a break before training camp starts in late-July. So this week is an opportunity that has to be seized for a lot of players, whatever the specific circumstance they have.

More specifically, these five players must shine at minicamp.

5 Detroit Lions players who must shine at mandatory minicamp

5. TE James Mitchell

This is a big offseason for Mitchell. He simply hasn't done much in two NFL seasons, around injuries. Last year he actually played less offensive snaps than he did has a rookie, and he also had fewer catches.

The top two spots are locked in on the Lions' tight end depth chart-Sam LaPorta and Brock Wright. The battle for at least one, if not possibly two, remaining roster spots dedicated to the position will include Shane Zylstra and recent veteran additions Parker Hesse and Sean McKeon.

It's fair to say Mitchell has more raw upside than those other three guys put together, but if he doesn't take a notable step between now and the end of training camp that won't matter.

Frankly, it feels like Mitchell is pretty much out of site, out of mind right now. If we don't hear some positives about him, or see some evidence he's notably existing on the practice field, this week, his place on the roster will get more tenuous than it already seems to be.