Everyone knows Golden Tate, but he’s not the only new Detroit Lions player who will be impressive this fall.
Here are five more under-the-radar guys who could play a big role for the Lions:
1. Cornerback Cassius Vaughn is 26, has 54 games of NFL experience with the Broncos and Colts. So far looks like a good fit in the secondary. With Chris Houston released, Vaughn could ease his way in. He’s an excitable, vocal guy on the field.
2. Defensive end Darryl Tapp played on the Seahawks when he was a rookie and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was an assistant. Austin was one reason the veteran wanted to play for the Lions. He was miscast as a linebacker last season with the Redskins in a 3-4 scheme— has always played at defensive end. His 267 games of experience could be invaluable.
3. Kicker Giorgio Tavecchio nearly won the job at Green Bay Packers training camp last summer over Mason Crosby. Yes, the Lions drafted a kicker (Nate Freese) in the seventh round, but this will be a huge competition at camp and in the preseason.
4. Safety Isa Abdul-Quddus played in 42 games for the New Orleans Saints from 2011 to 2013. When he was cut in January, the Lions grabbed him. The Lions also signed James Ihedigbo and he will probably start at safety with Glover Quin, but Abdul-Quddus could add depth.
5. Chad Abram is one of two fullbacks on the roster, along with Jed Collins who played with the Saints which gives him a connection with offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. Abram, an undrafted rookie out of Florida State, has been impressive and could push Collins for the job.