Yes, I’m aware, it’s only training camp. We talkin’ about practice. No matter the case, you can still make an assessment on where the 2017 Detroit Lions rookies stand. It’s not illogical to be encouraged from the play so far. Having positive early results are better than the alternative.
Relative to most years, GM Bob Quinn‘s second draft class is making a bigger impact than usual at this stage of camp.
Most notably, a couple of small-school rookies: WR Kenny Golladay and CB Jamal Agnew. First round rookie LB Jarrad Davis is on schedule as well, but it’s the unheralded sleepers that are stealing the show.
— Logan Lamorandier (@LLamorandier) August 6, 2017
WR Kenny Golladay
The 6-foot-4 Golladay has been impressive since the spring practices. His hot start has become a trend. For a receiver coming from the MAC conference, expectations were low. Especially when most draft “experts” had him falling a round or two after the Lions selected him. There were many limitations (route running mainly) that caused his mid to late round draft grade.
Lucky for him, his noted deficiencies are traits that can be coached up and polished. Maybe even sooner than once thought.
An interesting question to ask yourself: Where would have Golladay been drafted if he was in former Western Michigan wideout, Corey Davis, and the Tenessee Titans fifth overall picks shoes? That is an unanswerable hypothetical, but Golladay possesses all the same tools as Davis without the talent surrounding him while at Northern Illinois.
All signs point to Golladay contributing more than originally anticipated. With Anquan Boldin out of the picture, the opportunity is there and ready for the taking.
CB/KR Jamal Agnew
Another rookie making solid early contributions is CB Jamal Agnew. Maybe still a reserve at the corner position, his first-team reps as a punt returner are already seeing early dividends.
Like most rookie corners, he has had his fair shares of struggles so far in camp. Although he is trending up in that department, his 4.34-sec forty and overall athleticism has been on full display in the return game. The talent is there and he is already primed to make plays as a fifth-round pick.
Any type of on-field production from a late round pick is considered a win.
Just a few weeks ago, Agnew wasn’t even a lock to make the roster. As of now, there is no way he doesn’t.
CB Teez Tabor
It’s not all roses for Quinn’s 2017 draft either. The highly controversial second round rookie, CB Teez Tabor, has had his fair share of struggles.
What really shouldn’t come as all that much of a surprise, the athletically limited corner has been beaten more than often than not.
That’s not to say that he is already a bust. At no point should you say that about a corner in their first season, yet alone before any preseason games. He has been asked to do many things that you’d hope he wouldn’t be asked to do in games.
Luckily for Tabor, he should not be forced into heavy action during his developmental stages as the Lions deepest position very well may be at the corner position.
I will reiterate, it’s very early, but another solid draft class for Quinn is a must if the Lions want to compete in the NFC North.