Lions stock report: Hyder up, Wright down
Detroit -- After the Lions' 31-0 drubbing of the Buffalo Bills, it's difficult to find many negatives from the performance. So as we assess whose stock is up and whose is down following the exhibition finale, you shouldn't be surprised to see the market is largely booming.
Stock up: Kerry Hyder
What a Herculean effort by the high-effort defensive end. He abused Buffalo's offensive tackles, recording three sacks, with a fourth being wiped off the books by a teammate's penalty. And it doesn't stop there. According to Pro Football Focus, Hyder generated pressure on eight other pass rushes. That's absurd effectiveness off the edge. It still might not be enough to earn him a roster spot, but Hyder will certainly make general manager Bob Quinn think twice before cutting him.
Stock up: Joe Dahl
We knew Dahl had the ability to play left tackle. He had performed quite well at that spot for Washington State in recent years. But despite praising his versatility after drafting him, the Lions had primarily been working the rookie lineman at guard this offseason. Against Buffalo, Dahl was surprisingly manning the blind side and looking natural doing it, keeping his quarterbacks upright and helping seal the outside lane running back Dwayne Washington used to race 58 yards down the sideline for a first-quarter touchdown.
Stock down: Brandon Thomas
It's not necessarily fair to criticize a player dropped into a new scheme earlier in the week and asked to play 70 snaps a few days later, but the former third-round pick acquired in a trade from San Francisco noticeably struggled. Working at right guard, he was badly beaten one-on-one multiple times, leading to a tackle for loss on a running play and his quarterback quickly needing to bail from the pocket on two other occasions.
Stock up: Dwayne Washington
Washington has been the story of the preseason. After struggling with drops and fumbles earlier this offseason, he avoided big mistakes in the games and delivered some of the most impressive plays. He added to his exhibition highlight reel with a long touchdown run against the Bills, taking an outside handoff around the left edge of his offense line and racing past any would-be tackler. He's an exciting talent, not just because of his speed, but also because of his 6-foot-1, 223-pound frame.
Stock up: Caraun Reid
There were many quality performances along the defensive line, but Reid's burst off the line of scrimmage stood out. All three of his tackles came behind the line of scrimmage. That's important for a player who has struggled at times as he's worked his way back to form from an offseason ankle surgery.
Stock down: Gabe Wright
If Wright was clinging to the roster bubble coming into the contest, one would have to imagine his pedestrian performance against the Bills would be enough to pop it. He recorded three tackles, but was also moved off his spot too often, especially by double-teams. With Reid shining and Khyri Thornton looking locked into a roster spot, Wright might be out one season after being drafted by Detroit.
Stock up: Jace Billingsley
The undersized wide receiver out of Eastern Oregon continued to make plays and should have at least earned himself a spot on Detroit's practice squad. He led the team with seven catches for 80 yards, including a difficult one-handed grab in the end zone. He also continued to impress in space, making tacklers miss as both a receiver and a return man.
Stock up: Antwione Williams
The rookie linebacker got off to a rough start, getting hit with a 15-yard unnecessary roughness infraction. Mistake aside, he looked like a football-seeking missile the rest of the evening. He finished with team-best seven tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage. He routinely filled his run-gap assignments, hitting Buffalo's backs with the authority as they tried to run through his lane.