ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- It’s finally here, the last week of offseason workouts -- mandatory minicamp -- before the Detroit Lions take off for over a month to get one last rest in before the start of training camp later this summer.
But the three-day work week should be pretty interesting for the Lions, especially considering Detroit is sending a clear message about receiver depth as well as other issues facing the team. So here are five things to pay attention to over the next three days.
1. Andre Roberts: The Lions’ newest receiver is just another sign Detroit is trying to upgrade a receiving corps that has questions beyond starters Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. Roberts has shown flashes before and at age 28 should have some years left in him. It’ll be interesting to see what he looks like over the three-day minicamp as he acclimates to the offense. But there’s definitely a chance he sticks with the club.
2.Marvin Jones vs. Darius Slay: Sometimes Slay will likely end up matched up against Tate, but Jones vs. Slay should be a fun competition to watch all camp long -- and it’ll get its start during this three-day stretch. Theoretically, the competition should make both players much better and it’ll be a different daily challenge for Slay than what he faced the first three seasons of his career when he’d end up matched up against Johnson in individual workouts. This should be entertaining.
3. Glover Quin: The safety has missed the last two open-to-the-media OTAs as he deals with what Jim Caldwell has deemed a personal matter. With minicamp being mandatory, one would think Quin will return, but it’ll be worth watching to see if he shows up. Or if he doesn’t, if Caldwell and the Lions deem it an excused absence. Along with DeAndre Levy, Ezekiel Ansah and Haloti Ngata, Quin is one of the team’s defensive leaders. Isaiah Johnson has gotten a lot of run with the top unit with Quin out.
4. Cole Wick: He’s one of the most intriguing undrafted rookies the Lions have and if I had to pick an undrafted rookie to stick with the club to start the regular season right now, it’d be Wick. He’s gotten a good amount of reps with the No. 1 offense, in part due to injuries to Eric Ebron, Brandon Pettigrew and Tim Wright. Ebron is back. Pettigrew is out until at least the beginning of training camp and Wright is on injured reserve, so Wick’s chances will continue to be there for the foreseeable future. So far, he’s done as much as he can with them.
5. More Taylor Decker: Yes, this has been an ongoing topic throughout offseason workouts, but if Decker remains at left tackle all three days of minicamp that is yet another sign the Lions are trending in that direction for 2016. Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said the team is still figuring out the best five, and it is just how the team decided to use the reps early. Well, if Decker continues to impress, there might be little reason to change. Again, it's tough to tell too much without pads, but every day he plays at left tackle is one more day where it seems like an inevitability it'll happen this fall.