Detroit Lions: 2016 Rookie Stock Report After Second Preseason Game

Aug 18, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions tight end Cole Wick (89) gets tackled by Cincinnati Bengals safety Clayton Fejedelem (42) during the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 18, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions tight end Cole Wick (89) gets tackled by Cincinnati Bengals safety Clayton Fejedelem (42) during the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

After the second week of preseason, some of the Detroit Lions rookies are separating themselves from the rest and are solidifying their place on the team.

The Detroit Lions hosted the Cincinnati Bengals for their second game of the 2016 preseason. Despite the loss there was still plenty of information to be gathered about the Lions rookies.

Taylor Decker

It’s pretty clear Taylor Decker is still learning. He had another disastrous play resulting in a loss of yards. On the Lions first drive, they made it all the way inside the Bengals ten-yard line. Here’s a break down of what happened next:

The play design was for Theo Riddick to run to the left side, in-between the left tackle and left guard.

The blocking assignments were: 1) Decker was heads up with the defensive end, 2) Laken Tomlinson and Travis Swanson doubled the defensive tackle, 3) Larry Warford and Riley Reiff doubled the three-technique, 4) Cole Wick one-on-one with the left defensive end, 5) fullback Michael Burton ran through the LT/LG gap and sealed off the linebacker, and 6) Marvin Jones crashed down to block the free safety.

This play, if executed correctly, would put the running back one-on-one with a cornerback running against the grain (assuming he is following Marvin Jones).

Upon the snap, Decker immediately lost leverage on his block and the defensive end threw him aside. The play was over almost immediately. Riddick was forced to change direction and run to the right where he was tackled.

Here’s a limited view look at the play:

It’s real easy to pin the blame on Decker here, because he misses bad. But this play leaves me with questions. Why are the Lions asking their rookies to block one-on one while the experienced blockers are doubling up? This play could easily be successful by adjusting assignments.

Unless the Lions stop leaving their rookie left tackle out on an island by himself, these type of plays are going to happen until Decker gains more experience.

A’Shawn Robinson

Robinson continues to show power and quick feet. He isn’t lighting up the scoreboard (two tackles, one for loss, one pass defended) but he is opening up opportunities for those around him. He’s been solid and looks like he belongs in the rotation.

Graham Glasgow

Glasgow looked like a rookie in week two. I still liked how he plays with his head up and on a swivel, but on one play at the end of the second quarter he made a two bad mistakes.

When the Bengals showed an all-out blitz on third down, Orlovsky set up in the shotgun. Glasgow not only snapped the ball low, but then he failed to even touch the blitzing middle linebacker who ran right past him and pressured Orlovsky.

I’m not sure if he was benched after this play, or if there was another reason, but he didn’t see the field the rest of the night. His 11 snaps were the lowest of all the offensive lineman.

Miles Killebrew

Quiet night for the fourth round hit machine. He didn’t do anything to stand out running with the third team.

Joe Dahl

With Geoff Schwartz sitting out with an unknown injury, Joe Dahl made the shift to right guard with the second unit. Dahl saw 45 snaps (tied for team lead), and continues to look solid. With the tight ends struggling to sustain quality blocks, I expect to start seeing some six offensive lineman sets featuring Joe Dahl.

Antwione Williams

Williams was getting second team reps at middle linebacker for the second game in a row. He continues to show good range, but he needs to be sure he’s controlling his speed and not over running plays.

Williams played 41% of the defensive snaps and 48% of special teams snaps. He has really settled into a nice role on this team and I believe he has locked up a roster spot.

Aug 18, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jake Rudock (14). Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 18, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jake Rudock (14). Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Jake Rudock

Rudock continues to have an up and down preseason. Following a great pass to Orson Charles, Rudock was intercepted trying to force a pass to Quinshad Davis.

Finishing the day 8 for 11 for 90 yards it was another solid outing for the rookie. His confidence is growing but he still has a long way to go to unseat Orlovsky as Matthew Stafford’s primary backup.

Anthony Zettel

Zettel only saw 11 snaps on defense but when he was out there he was hustling more than anyone else. Unfortunately, he only had one tackle to show for all his effort. Right now he needs to find a way to get more snaps if he hopes to make the roster.

Jimmy Landes

The long snapper battle isn’t heating up as much as we thought it would. Don Muhlbach continues to get the first snaps and unless something changes, Landes may be on the outside looking in come roster cuts.

Dwayne Washington

Another preseason game and another touchdown for Washington. This time he scored in on the ground and it was one of the highlights of the game for the Lions.

Dwayne Washington saw snaps ahead of Stevan Ridley this game indicating that he’s likely moving up the depth chart. He continues to show ball security, decisive running, and special teams ability. If he can keep this up, he will solidify a spot on the 53-man roster.

Cole Wick

Wick got the start again in week two and showed he’s still learning the position. Yes, he did have a couple terrible plays where he missed blocks, but I think the Lions are asking too much of him.

Jim Bob Cooter called several plays that asked him to block defensive end Carlos Dunlap one-on-one. It’s unfair to expect Wick to be able to consistently win that battle.

That being said, Wick needs to learn to block better if he wants to make the team. Currently, he’s looks like he’s trying to hit his defender rather than get his hands on him and block with technique. I still think he makes the team but his role is being diminished with every bad rep.

Quinshad Davis

Only one catch for 13 yards this week, but it came on tough fourth down play where he showed the awareness to find the sticks. I continue to hear good things about him in camp but he needs to show more on game day.

Jay Lee

Lee managed to catch two passes this week for 15 yards. The play that stands out the most though is on Rudock’s interception where, as Chris Spielman pointed out, “He quit on his route”. Not a good look for a rookie who’s on the bubble and fighting for a spot.

Jace Billingsley

Billingsley managed two catches for 33 yards, both coming in the fourth quarter. He definitely has the look of a Patriot-type wide receiver. He’s still looking like he is a strong for the practice squad.

Chase Farris

Farris saw reps at left guard with the second team because of the absence of Geoff Schwartz. He showed well with the extra reps but didn’t do anything to warrant him being in the discussion for a roster spot. The practice squad is his most likely destination.

Devon Bell

Bell continues to look like he has the skills to be a NFL punter. Unfortunately for him, it won’t be with the Lions. he’s playing well enough that Bob Quinn could try and trade him. But I still think he’s on path to be picked up off the waiver wire after Detroit releases him during the final roster cuts.

Next: Detroit Lions: Rookie Stock Report After First Preseason Game

Other Lions rookies Alex Chisum, Adam Fuehne, Deonte Gibson, Louis Palmer, Adarius Barnes, Charles Washington, Rashaad Williams didn’t do enough to stand out this week.