Bob Quinn’s first draft class appears to be paying dividends.
That’s good news for the Detroit Lions, whose second-year players made an appearance for all the right reasons on NFL.com’s weekly winners and losers section following Week 3 of the preseason.
The Lions lost to the New England Patriots, 30-28, on Friday night at Ford Field, but it didn’t keep second-year players such as defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, quarterback Jake Rudock and defensive lineman Anthony Zettel from continuing to leave an impression this preseason.
Rudock was 10-of-13 for 113 yards and a touchdown in relief of starter Matthew Stafford, while Robinson and Zettel each had a quarterback hit. Zettel also had a tackle for loss. They are all part of the first draft haul under Quinn, the Lions’ general manager.
“Robinson, a 2016 second-round pick, has excelled all preseason, a welcome development for a defensive line missing Ezekiel Ansah (for now) and Kerry Hyder Jr. for the season,” NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal writes. “Anthony Zettel, a sixth-round pick from a year ago, is expected to start where Hyder lined up last year.
“The team’s other sixth-round pick last season, backup quarterback Jake Rudock, has played well enough to generate interest from opposing general managers. When left tackle Taylor Decker returns from injury (shoulder), general manager Bob Quinn should be getting a lot of value from his first draft class in Detroit. That’s how you build up a roster.”
Decker, the team’s first-round draft pick from 2016, is out following shoulder surgery.
Members of Quinn’s second draft class also caught Rosenthal’s eye following Week 1, with receiver Kenny Golladay among his “buzzworthy rookies,” though first-round pick Jarrad Davis struggled Friday night against New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.