Wednesday was the second and final of the Detroit Lions' joint practices against the New York Giants before Friday night's preseason opener. As would be expected with a young roster and fast-tracked rebuild, the Lions will be relying on plenty of young players again this year. If nothing else, the joint practices were an opportunity to show their stuff against an opponent.
Before Wednesday's practice session, head coach Dan Campbell named five rookies who particularly impressed him in the first joint practice.
Dan Campbell praises Lions rookies for their work during joint practices
Here some appropriate, however brief, quotes from the Lions' head coach on Wednesday morning about the five rookies he named.
"LaPorta, I thought LaPorta showed up.”
LaPorta had one of the few noted highlights from a tougher day for the Lions offense on Wednesday, a touchdown reception from Jared Goff, and overall he had a strong two days of work by all accounts.
“I thought Gibbs showed up.”
That may be putting it lightly, with what Gibbs did to Giants linebacker Bobby Okereke on this play during Tuesday's practice.
Gibbs ended Wednesday's practice with another excellent play as a receiver.
"Branch did some things.” Branch has been a consistent standout during training camp, and he carried that into the practices against the Giants.
“Starling, I saw growth.”
Thomas, the undrafted rookie out of UAB, has also shown some swagger and vociferous nature in his battle to earn a roster spot.
"Drummond once again, out there making plays.”
Drummond, the undrafted rookie out of Eastern Michigan, is making it hard for the Lions not to keep him on the 53-man roster. He's putting in work after practice too.
Linebacker Jack Campbell and defensive tackle Brodric Martin were notable omissions from Campbell's mentions. Campbell did specifically mention a lack of consistency from seventh-round pick wide receiver Antoine Green, in line with Drummond's rise.
But, as expected, the Lions' rookie class is broadly impressing up to this point