Sun, 03 Jul 2022

TIM AND MIKE: Rookie minicamp observations

Detroit Lions
15 May 2022, 20:25 GMT+10

Tim Twentyman & Mike OHara

Sitting out: Wide receiver Jameson Williams and tight ends James Mitchell and Derrick Deese Jr. didn't take part in open rookie minicamp practice Saturday. No surprise with Williams and Mitchell as they both are recovering from knee injuries. Williams had a football in his hands the entire practice, and did get some catch in with receivers coach Antwaan Randle El and head coach Dan Campbell at points in practice. Quick observation on Campbell as quarterback: Short release. - Tim Twentyman

Pass rush 1: Aidan Hutchinson is tall (6-7) and lean (260), and his body type is built to be an outside pass rusher. He showed in pass-rush drills that he has the ability to get around the corner to get to the quarterback - which is why he was drafted second overall. - Mike O'Hara

Off the ball: James Houston played an off-the-ball linebacker role early in his college career at Florida, but moved to more of an on-the-ball edge rusher last year at Jackson State. The Lions are using him as an off-the-ball linebacker early on. He's expected to compete for one of the WILL or SAM spots in Detroit's defense. He's a pretty versatile player. He made a nice play disrupting the quarterback on a blitz in a team period and nearly came up with an interception in a 7-on-7 period. - Tim Twentyman

Pass rush 2: Josh Paschal has a solid base at 6-3 and 268 pounds. He's built to make quick, explosive moves in tight quarters to get to the quarterback - which is why the Lions jumped to take him in the second round when he was still on the board. - Mike O'Hara

Catching my eye: Central Michigan wide receiver/returner Kalil Pimpleton stood out to me among the rookie receivers. He's quick with terrific speed. He was nearly untouchable in a special teams tackling drill, and made a number of plays in 7-on-7s. It's a pretty deep receiver room for the Lions, but Pimpleton is someone I'll continue to watch closely as the rookies start practicing with the vets in OTAs. - Tim Twentyman

Big man: One guy who definitely stands out among the crowd is undrafted free agent offensive tackle Obinna Eze. He's 6-foot-6, 321 pounds, and is extremely long. He's got nearly 37-inch arms. His arms are so long, they hung down past the shorts he was wearing to practice Saturday. The Lions are loaded along the offensive line, but if Eze's game matches his physical stature, he'll have a shot at sticking around in some fashion. - Tim Twentyman

Personal attention: The Lions had only one quarterback - Connor Sampson (Western Illinois) - and one running back - Greg Bell (San Diego State) - among the 29 players taking part in rookie minicamp this weekend. Sampson and Bell are getting some great one-on-one coaching this weekend from Mark Brunell and Duce Staley when the team splits into individual periods at practice. - Tim Twentyman

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