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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Detroit Lions 2014 draft class looks impressive now

Don’t look now but that 2014 Detroit Lions draft class is starting to look quite impressive. It could produce three starters this season — tight end Eric Ebron, center Travis Swanson and possibly defensive tackle Caraun Reid.

When coach Jim Caldwell was asked on Thursday about the impressive physical development of Reid, he talked him up big-time, but he also mentioned a few others.

“Kyle Van Noy’s healthy, a young that’s coming along. If you look at what kind of jump that Larry Webster has made physically from the time that he came in as a rookie until now, you’d be amazed. I mean, he’s packed on a lot of muscle, he improved in terms of his speed and power,’’ Caldwell said. “So, there’s a lot of guys I think that fit within that category. I can probably go up and down our roster and point out different individuals that fall under that category.’’

Van Noy, a pass-rushing specialist, was a second-round pick who was injured during the preseason. He played mostly special teams when he came back for the final eight games.

Webster was considered a bit of a project when drafted in the fourth round out of Bloomsburg. He was a basketball player who had played only two years of college football. 
He made the 53-man roster, but was only activated for two games and then didn’t see playing time. Still he impressed coaches during practices last season and now even more. It's likely Ziggy Ansah and Jason Jones will start at defensive end, but Webster has a good shot at being in the rotation.

Also from the 2014 draft class, wide receiver TJ Jones, a sixth-round pick, had a solid week of minicamp and could be in a battle for a wide receiver position.

Cornerback Nevin Lawson, a fourth-round pick, is coming off a severe foot injury and hasn’t been able to do much yet. He was impressive as a rookie briefly before his injury in the second regular season game.

If seven of the eight picks from the 2014 draft make the 53-man roster, general manager Martin Mayhew deserves much credit.

The only member of that draft class no longer with the team is kicker Nate Freese who was the seventh-round pick. He was cut early last season.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Pre-order her new book “Game of My Life Detroit Lions” which will be be published in October on Also order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon Paula. Every team looks good every year to their coaches, media and fans during OTAs and training camps. When they strap it on in September and go against live competition is when reality hits. Koolaid it all you want but given their schedule and Caldwell's history, they'll be lucky to make the playoffs.

2:55 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For sure. The Lions always crow about making a killing in the draft and getting a couple dynamite free agents every year. Some of them pan out and some don't. You don't hear about the perennial good teams feeding such hype to their fans. They just go out and win. A difference.

2:17 AM 
Blogger Am. Sports Legacy Admin said...

Too difficult to predict at this point. Hopefully the young players will continue to improve, but we won’t see the true capability of the Lions until October.

8:57 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The truth is that the lions are becoming a more physical team with mental toughness. this was not as evident as the last 2 draft classes. There will always be a criticism to the lions until they take the next step and prove their worth in top tier competition without losing composure. They have a good mix of youth and sprinkle in some good veteran leaders there is dicipline and accountability now which is influxed by good character and work ethic. caldwell has a conservative demeanor but it is necessary in order to keep us from beating ourselves. those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

11:59 AM 

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