Detroit Lions Training Camp: 1 Position Battle Is REALLY Heating Up
One preseason game is in the books for the Detroit Lions, which means we are one step closer to finding out which players make the initial 53-man roster. If you have been following along with Detroit Sports Nation over the past couple of weeks, you have certainly heard of wide receiver, Dylan Drummond.
UDFA Dylan Drummond Impresses at Detroit Lions Training Camp
Drummond, who went undrafted and then unsigned during the first wave of UDFA acquisitions, landed a tryout with the Lions. In his tryout, the youngster out of Eastern Michigan impressed head coach Dan Campbell and GM Brad Holmes enough to earn a contract. According to Campbell (and fellow receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown), Drummond has been outstanding so far during Training Camp, and he has put himself in a position to challenge for a roster spot.
Chase Cota is Coming
On the flip side, one player that you have not heard too much about is wide receiver, Chase Cota. Cota was also signed as a UDFA, and he has quietly had a solid training camp. On Friday, during the Detroit Lions' preseason games against the New York Giants, the youngster out of Oregon was the Lions' best receiver on the field as he hauled in four catches for 60 yards.
How Things Stand
As it stands, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Reynolds, Marvin Jones Jr., and Kalif Raymond are LOCKS to make the initial 53-man roster, and in my latest 2023 Detroit Lions 53-man roster prediction article, I also have Denzel Mims making the cut. If the Lions decide to keep a sixth wide receiver on their roster, the battle will likely come down to Dylan Drummond vs. Chase Cota vs. Antoine Green.
Cota has the size (6-4, 205) that no other receiver on the Lions has, and Dan Campbell praised him following his performance against the Giants. Antoine Green, who the Detroit Lions selected in the seventh round of the 2023 NFL Draft, has reportedly had some good moments in camp, but he is not a lock to make the roster.
At this point, I have Drummond beating out Green and Cota for the No. 6 receiver spot, but there is still plenty of time for that to change before the season begins. With that being said, once Jameson Williams returns from his 6-game suspension, whoever is the No. 6 receiver at that time will be dropped.
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Dylan Drummond's Rise: Dylan Drummond, an undrafted free agent (UDFA) from Eastern Michigan, secured a tryout with the Lions and succeeded in impressing the team's leadership, including head coach Dan Campbell and GM Brad Holmes.
- Chase Cota's Silent Impact: Another UDFA to watch, Chase Cota from Oregon, has been steadily showcasing his skills during the training camp. His notable performance in the preseason game against the New York Giants, where he made four catches totaling 60 yards, suggests he's a candidate for a roster position, especially given his unique size among the Lions' receivers.
- Current Roster Projections: As the roster currently seems to be shaping up, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Reynolds, Marvin Jones Jr., and Kalif Raymond are assured spots. Denzel Mims is also predicted to make the cut. If the Lions opt for a sixth wide receiver, the competition appears to be between Drummond, Cota, and Antoine Green, a seventh-round pick from the 2023 NFL Draft. Although Green has had promising moments during the camp, his spot isn't guaranteed.
Bottom Line: The Battle Continues
The Detroit Lions' wide receiver lineup is evolving into a compelling narrative of undrafted talents, proving their mettle and seasoned players cementing their roles. While Drummond's journey from an unsigned UDFA to a potential roster contender stands out, Cota's silent progress and unique physical attributes offer intriguing possibilities. The decisions ahead promise to be intricate, especially given the looming return of Jameson Williams from suspension. As the preseason unfolds, the Lions' management will have to balance emerging talents and experienced prowess to craft their ideal receiver lineup.