The Detroit Lions are now just 19 days from the start of training camp, and we are continuing with our Training camp roster preview. Today’s position we will focus on is the other pass-catching options for the quarterbacks and the Tight Ends.
Detroit Lions Training Camp Roster Preview: Tight Ends
LaPorta was taken by the Lions with the 34th overall pick in this past April’s draft out of the University of Iowa. LaPorta last season was the top pass catcher for the Hawkeyes, as he hauled in 58 passes for a team-leading 657 yards and a touchdown. The Lions like tight ends from Iowa, having drafted TJ Hockenson from there in 2019.
Wright is entering his third season in the league and with the Lions. After the Lions traded Hockenson last year, Wright became the top tight end option for Jared Goff, hauling in 18 passes for 216 yards and four touchdowns last season and playing in 17 games.
Mitchell is entering his second season with the Lions and the second season of his career. Last year he played in 14 games after the Hockenson trade and caught all 11 passes thrown his way for 113 yards and a touchdown.
Zylstra became a red zone threat for the Lions after the Hockenson trade, having played in 13 games last season in his second season in the NFL. Zylstra was targeted 15 times and made 11 catches for 60 yards and four touchdowns.
Derrick Deese Jr.
The Lions signed Deese on January 11th to a reserve/future contract. Deese played his college football at San Jose State, and his last season was 2021, in which he was the leading pass catcher for the Spartans. Deese caught 47 passes for 730 yards and four touchdowns.
Bottom Line: The Detroit Lions Tight Ends will be an intriguing group in 2023
The Detroit Lions depth chart, according to espn.com, currently has Brock Wright as the starting Tight End, but you’d have to think that spot may end up being Sam LaPorta’s, whether that’s for Week 1 or if it changes throughout the season. The Lions Tight End’s were not a focal point of the passing game much last season after the trade of Hockenson to Minnesota. Still, with the addition to LaPorta for 2023, I’d expect that to change and LaPorta to be a big part of the passing game for the Lions.