Burning Questions: Lions' Rookie Minicamp

Interesting, " Manu is reportedly set to take reps at guard for the Lions moving forward."


Last year around this time @MyLions started a thread about the Lions rookies and how he felt none of them would start.

Last year I expected Branch, Laporta and Gibbs (as 3rd down back) to have starting roles.

This year it’s very possible none of the rookies start. Rookie CB’s often take some time to adjust to the NFL and the Lions have zero reason to rush them.

Barring injury I expect our entire draft class to start as depth.


I think TA starts opening day.
Just like Branch did last year, TA comes from a fundamentally strong program working directly under Saban (who coached the DB’s himself) as a 2 year starter.
Branch had won the starter nickel position by the 2nd week of camp over an experienced CJGJ.
I think TA beats out Amik, Moseley, Vildor, Gilmore and Rakestraw.


I’m not disagreeing with you that TA can start on day one. I do believe the DB room is much stronger going into the season vs what it was last year.
With the type of defense that DC wants this team to play I think the two new guys are strong fits just as TA is/will be. However, the experience and success the two acquisitions bring will make it a tougher road.

At the end of the day there is a significant improvement in that room which is excellent, may the best men win.


I think this is a step towards putting him at RT.

  1. Decker eventually retires
  2. Sewell moves to LT
  3. Manu moves to RT

If all goes well, this will be after Manu has 3+ years of experience/reps at RG + RT during that time.

Just a hunch.


I think in a post draft interview, BH said the plan was to play him at guard, despite his height.


Just a word of caution on TA. He was a safety recruit. So he’s got 1.5 years experience as a starting CB? He has elite traits but maybe bringing him along slow for a few games isn’t a bad strategy. He’ll show it on the field.

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I believe this is the plan as well. I think this makes the future pick palatable to me. I would be disappointed if this was ultimately a play for a guard. He just looks like a tackle to me.

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Well you don’t have to worry about throwing over the top of him if the plan is to run it down their throats.

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I’m not saying to rush him. I expect TA to be one of the best 2 outside CB’s “on the field” by the end of training camp.
Part of my confidence is his pedigree.
It doesn’t matter what you were recruited as, Saban has all of his DB’s fundamentally sound. The level of competition there ensures that those that play and especially start (21 games at 'Bama for TA), are technically sound and highly skilled.
Furthermore, the competition isn’t particularly daunting at outside CB2 for the Lions.
Amik Robertson was brought in as a depth CB and to back up at slot. He is the presumed starter because Sutton was released. Moseley is coming off back to back ACL tears and likely starting the season on the PUP list. Then there is Gilmore and Vildor…
Rackestraw might be his best competition.
Lastly, Campbell and AG run a meritocracy. You get what you earn. Even though they were rookies, Branch started right away over a seasoned free agent signing, LaPorta was starting after minicamp, but Barnes held his starting position over a highly touted 1st rd pick.
So TA is well prepared and used to competing against high level talent, and won’t be rushed into the role by this staff.
He doesn’t have to be brought along slow for a few games.
If he shows it on the field and is one of the top 2 outside CB’s he will start.
If he is not one of the best 2 he will not start until he is.

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I think Arnold gets plenty of playing time, but I think Amik and Davis will be our outside starters game 1. There’s just no substitute for the reps they’ve had at the NFL level.

And hot take, I think when one of Arnold or Rakestraw moves into the starting lineup, it will be at the expense of Davis.


I like Amik, I just don’t think with his size he can stand up to the best outside WR’s on an every down, every game basis. I think they will take advantage of his stature at least a couple of times a game when allowed to plan. As a slot CB he is in his element. As a rotational CB WR’s may not know when he will be in coverage. As an every down starter he can be isolated and put on an island on deep, outside or red zone plays that make his 5’8" stature a distinct disadvantage.

I think TA is ready and wins the opening day CB2 job.

Odds are you could be right about the Rookie CB’s getting in first to replace Davis. I think more so by his tendency to be injured than by performance.
Hopefully he stays healthy through camp and the season.

He held up fine over the last half of the season last year. Granted it’s a small sample size and you could be right, but I like his chances.

And while he’s the size of a nickel, like Darious Williams he’s just not as good there. He’s an outside corner all day imo, despite his size. And yeah, he’ll lose some jump balls now and again. But he’ll be in position every time and fight like a demon at the catch point. I’m willing to sacrifice a couple of mossed-catches for all the positives he brings.

I don’t worry about the jump balls on deep balls as much as the red zone and 3rd down conversions at the sticks.
Those plays are back breakers and can be repeated throughout a game.
At 5’8" with 30 inch arms it is hard to imagine teams not scheming their big X WR to his side on crucial plays and just “posting him up” or completing a simple out or slant route.
It would make it better if Davis would follow the big WR but I don’t know if they will stay left / right or not. But with Amik it would almost be required that Davis followed.
I am confident and hopeful that TA wins the job in camp while both are playing well, instead of by injury or default because the others are not playing well.

Again I understand why Amik could struggle on paper, but the evidence so far doesn’t back it up. Sometimes guys succeed despite their limitations, it happens plenty. There’s even a thread about ARSB doing it.

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Due to injury is the most likely path, I’d think. It would take giant cajones to replace the $14M man without injury. Dan has them, so… That message would echo throughout the team for years.

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Any word on if hooker will be at rookie minicamp? I seem to recall 2nd year players/tryout players can attend rookie camp. Would be good to see him get some more reps

I doubt it, as it is a tryout camp and they signed two local QB’s (Theo Day & Cade Peterson) for the camp.
The offseason workout program began a few weeks ago so I’m sure he is in the building and OTA’s begin May 21.

Not a chance, Davis will thrive in our system I believe one of the best Man corners in the league. Injury is the only way. And I’ll bet Rakestraw doesn’t start before either.