2022 Detroit Lions rookie minicamp observations

2022 Detroit Lions rookie minicamp observations

Detroit Lions’ rookie minicamp spread out on Friday, however on Saturday, the workforce made approach for the media to watch a couple of 90-minute consultation of unpadded follow. Whilst many of the follow concerned avid gamers operating with their positional coaches, there have been a couple of workforce drills that allowed a better have a look at their sport.

Right here’s our breakdown of what took place all over Saturday morning’s follow.


As anticipated, Lions’ first-round select Jameson Williams and sixth-round select James Mitchell didn’t take part because the pair proceed to paintings again from their respective ACL tears. Mitchell is undoubtedly extra with regards to coming again, however couldn’t supply perception into when he could also be again at the box. Mitchell does consider he’ll be again in time for coaching camp.

“As far as I know. I don’t have a direct date for you yet,” Mitchell stated. “They’re just feeling me out and setting up a plan.”

Whilst Williams wasn’t training, he was once undoubtedly within the combine so much. He was once actively cheering on teammates, engaged with the motion that was once going down, or even stuck passes for a couple of mins from head trainer Dan Campbell. Significantly, he walked round with a soccer in his hand all the time, and a sheet with the offense’s script on it whilst going via psychological reps.

Moreover, UDFA tight finish Derrick Deese Jr. was once additionally sidelined for the day. No phrase but on why.

Place versatility

Going into minicamp, there have been a couple of questions on the place some drafted beginners would play on this defensive scheme, and whilst we shouldn’t bounce to conclusions in Would possibly, I feel we could have gotten some solutions.

6th-round select James Houston—who performed linebacker all of his lifestyles till he moved to EDGE ultimate yr at Jackson State and had a profession season—is obviously seen as a linebacker, now not an edge defender, by way of the Lions at this level. Whilst he had a good quantity reps close to the road of scrimmage, he was once principally off-ball all the day and practiced with the linebacker staff all over positional drills. Extra on him in slightly.

7th-round Chase Lucas just about performed solely because the nickel nook all over follow. He were getting acclimated to taking part in within over his previous two seasons at Arizona State, and he sounds relaxed there.

“I was mainly at slot (at minicamp),” Lucas stated after follow. “I think (DBs coach Aubrey Pleasant) and (defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn) are just kinda just making me know all the positions, the whole defense so I can communicate with the linebackers and DBs and all that. I feel like I’m in the right spot, the right defense.”

2d-round select Josh Paschal repped at edge, reverse Aidan Hutchinson, which leads us into our first place of focal point…


Hutchinson’s bend and motor simply utterly bounce off the web page. All the way through an agility drill, Hutchinson was once getting extraordinarily low to the bottom across the tackling dummies, and he confirmed great change-of-direction pace.

Paschal’s sport is totally other. He doesn’t have the bend to get across the edge, and, as an alternative, will win along with his dimension and explosiveness within. He gave a bit of perception as to what his function might be after follow.

“I think I fit as that guy, a big guy, a big defensive end. That’s what we’re calling it,” Paschal stated. “I feel like I can play across that front, but particularly on the edge, or even if I need to kick inside for the run game.”

It’s going to be exhausting to look Paschal as a lot of a pass-rushing danger at the edge, however it’s price noting that he and Hutchinson switched aspects steadily all over the outlet 11-on-11 drills.

Total, this was once a difficult unit to pass judgement on all over follow as a result of they nearly solely did particular person drills.


I spent the vast majority of follow gazing the linebackers, each as a result of they ran drills proper in entrance of the media and since Detroit has two draft alternatives on the place in Malcolm Rodriguez and Houston.

They spent a lot of the primary part of follow operating via protection seems. Linebackers trainer Kelvin Sheppard would provide an offensive entrance, and the linebackers must fit with their pre-snap alignment and their next protection duties. Sheppard spent nearly no time with Rodriguez, who gave the impression to resolution all of his questions appropriately and briefly acquire Sheppard’s believe.

James Houston (59) and Malcolm Rodriguez (44) operating on particular person linebacker drills all over 2022 rookie minicamp.

Alternatively, Sheppard was once in Houston’s ear for all the drill. Clearly, Houston has 3 years of revel in at linebacker from his College of Florida days, however it will take a while to readjust.

In truth, the training gave the impression to repay nearly straight away. They moved to seven-on-seven drills in a while thereafter, and quarterback Connor Sampson needed to tuck the primary rep and run for the reason that protection was once so just right. All the linebacking corps—and training workforce—erupted in cheers. Later in follow, Houston dropped into protection, slipped, however recovered in time to get into place and get each arms at the ball sooner than the interception slipped via his arms.

“Kinda get my feet back into seven-on-seven stuff,” Houston stated after follow. “Haven’t done that in probably about a year. Everything is just kinda coming back naturally.”

The undrafted standouts

QB Connor Sampson

Let’s get started with the only and simplest quarterback of the crowd: Connor Sampson, a tryout participant from Western Illinois who grew up in Belleville, Michigan. Sampson displayed an overly robust arm and a decent spiral all over follow. The accuracy was once hit or miss, however it’s exhausting accountable a quarterback who’s taking part in with a completely new set of receivers. I had no expectancies coming in from Sampson and I left intrigued.

RB Greg Bell

Oddly, the one operating again in attendance, Bell looked to be one of the most Lions’ precedence rookie loose agent signings, as he reportedly got $100,000 guaranteed in his contract. All the way through a distinct groups drill, the place he and a defender principally ran at every different and Bell had to take a look at to get by way of them, he completely undressed James Houston. Then, a couple of reps later, he did the very same factor to Rodriguez. No longer nice information for the Lions’ rookie linebacker tandem, however no doubt a head-turning second for Bell, who has an uphill struggle to make the roster in a crowded operating again room.

WR Kalil Pimpleton

Pimpleton straight away sticks out for his dimension—or lack thereof. At simply 5-foot-8 and 172 kilos, he slightly seems like a soccer participant, but if he’s if truth be told shifting and taking part in, he’s an issue. His pace was once on show, as was once his skill to forestall on a dime on the most sensible of his routes:

Pimpleton completed follow with a move path that earned him a couple of yards of separation and a 25ish-yard strike from Sampson.

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