2023 Detroit Lions Starting Kick Returner May Have Been Found
Starling Thomas V, signed by the Detroit Lions as an undrafted rookie free agent, began his kickoff return debut with an impressive performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday. With an average of 33.0 yards on his two returns, Thomas presented a notable contrast to Jermar Jefferson’s later stint (24.3 yards per return) in the same position.
Why it Matters
Prior to the game, head coach Dan Campbell spoke to Lions' announcer Dan Miller and he expressed his clear preference, stating that he'd favor a less skilled cornerback who shines in special teams over a highly talented player who can't deliver in the same role. With his dual potential as both a reserve corner and a kick returner, Thomas is steadily moving away from the edge of the roster cut.
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Starling Thomas V makes an impactful debut in kickoff return for the Detroit Lions.
- Head coach Dan Campbell prefers special teams' capability over sheer talent in non-starting positions.
- Thomas's consistent performance might save him from the roster cut.
Bottom Line: Not Just Another Rookie On The Block
It's not often that an undrafted rookie grabs attention in the way that Starling Thomas V has during his brief time with the Detroit Lions. His potential shines through, not only with his cornerback skills but with his recent foray into kickoff returns. This multi-dimensional talent might be exactly what the doctor ordered for the 2023 Lions. Thomas does not appear to be just another rookie on the block; he might just be the next big thing for Detroit in the special teams.