Rookie Report: Taylor rising, Fauria falling

October, 7, 2013
10/07/13
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Each week, we’ll take a look at how the Detroit Lions rookies fared in the prior week’s game along with their overall stats and trends for the season.

Trends are beginning to emerge for the Lions’ rookies.

For instance, Larry Warford is going to play every snap more than likely unless he gets injured. Ziggy Ansah is going to see the same amount of snaps a week.

[+] EnlargeDevin Taylor
Paul Spinelli/AP PhotoDetroit Lions rookie defensive end Devin Taylor (92) saw extended action Sunday, and even had a tackle on Packers running back Eddie Lacy.
Devin Taylor’s snaps and role could continue to grow behind Ansah and Willie Young, while Joseph Fauria’s early season emergence appears to be waning.

And barring injuries, Darius Slay and Theo Riddick will be special teamers with marginal roles.

DE Ziggy Ansah (first round, BYU): He continued to make the most of his starter’s snaps Sunday against Green Bay. He played 72 percent of Detroit’s defensive plays (48 of 67) and has settled into a rhythm between 48-50 snaps a game on defense. Ansah was the only Lion to get to Aaron Rodgers on Sunday, sacking him once in a coverage sack situation for a five-yard loss. He also forced a fumble. Ansah played 68 percent of Detroit’s defensive snaps (49 of 72) against Chicago and that is in the same range of the past two weeks -- 62 percent against Washington and 70 percent against Arizona. The number of snaps also remained the same, as he has now averaged 49 snaps over the past three games.

CB Darius Slay (second round, Mississippi State): With both Chris Houston and Rashean Mathis back on the field, the rookie went back to his newfound role as an exclusive special teams player. Slay played zero defensive snaps and eight special teams snaps. He recorded no statistics.

RG Larry Warford (third round, Kentucky): Tough to really say how Warford did until I watch the game again, but he played every snap and was on the opposite side of more than one of the five sacks Matthew Stafford took (the Packers appeared to be picking on left tackle Riley Reiff). He is still having a good season and is Detroit’s most consistent offensive rookie.

DE Devin Taylor (fourth round, South Carolina): He saw the most playing time in his young career Sunday, playing 25 percent of Detroit’s defensive snaps (17 of 67) as a backup to Willie Young and Ansah. He had two tackles against the Packers and also played on six special teams snaps. This could be his range of plays the rest of the way barring injury.

P Sam Martin (fifth round, Appalachian State): The former high school soccer player continued his consistent season Sunday. He punted six times and averaged 51.8 gross yards a punt. His net average of 42.8 improved from last week against Chicago and he put two inside the 20-yard line. His net numbers would be even better had it not been for two touchbacks as he booted a long of 58 yards. He also forced two touchbacks on kickoffs.

RB Theo Riddick (sixth round, Notre Dame): Riddick played no offensive snaps, in part because he left in the first half with a concussion suffered on a kick return. He played three special snaps. Riddick was taken to a local hospital, evaluated and released.

TE Joseph Fauria (undrafted, UCLA): After a breakout start to the season, Fauria’s role appears to be pretty specific -- red zone and that’s about it. He played a little bit outside of the red zone, but is clearly third in the tight end rotation behind Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler. As you can see below, he hasn’t made an impact since Week 3 against Washington.
A brief look at Fauria’s tracking:
Week 1 -- three targets, three catches, one touchdown, 14 percent of snaps (11 plays). Week 2 -- no targets, no catches, 10 percent of snaps (six plays).
Week 3 -- three targets, one catch, one touchdown, 18 percent of snaps (12 plays).
Week 4 -- no targets, no catches, 20 percent of snaps (13 plays)
Week 5 -- no targets, no catches, 13 percent of snaps (9 plays)

OT LaAdrian Waddle (undrafted, Texas Tech): Waddle was inactive for the Lions.

Michael Rothstein | email

ESPN Detroit Lions reporter

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