Lions camp observations: Reeves-Maybin among standouts; ​​​​​​​Okudah works with second team

Detroit News

Allen Park — Here are some notes and observations from Monday’s Detroit Lions training camp practice. 

► The Lions conducted their first official practice of the offseason and the session, which was open to local media, didn’t feel all that different from normal outside of some of the protocols required to enter the outdoor field.  For myself and a small group of reporters that cover the team daily, that includes daily COVID testing, a separate, socially distant bleacher, and monitoring chips that alert us when when were too close to other reporters and/or Lions staffers. 

► The abbreviated practice ran approximately one hour and 15 minutes and included individual drills, head-to-head segments pitting position groups against each other, an Oklahoma drill variant the team has run in the past, special teams work, 7-on-7s and full-team scrimmage without tackling. 

► In a head-to-head segment with the running backs blocking blitzing linebackers, fourth-year veteran Jalen Reeves-Maybin stood out, using his hands to easily get the best of Ty Johnson and rookie fullback Luke Sellers. 

Reeves-Maybin also had a nice gap fill to stop a running play in full-team work. Not to read too much into things, but he also might be a bit bigger than a year ago. 

Kerryon Johnson also looked good in the two reps I saw, slowing up rushes from veteran linebackers Elijah Lee and Jarrad Davis. 

More: ‘You need to feel it’: Lions hit practice and each other starting this week

► Over in the pass-rush segment, free-agent addition Nick Williams showed tremendous burst working against multiple interior lineman, although he might have got away with jumping early on one snap. He also seemed to suffer a minor ankle injury during the day, but shook it off. 

► Other than Williams, the offensive linemen won the majority of their reps. New right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai stonewalled defensive end Romeo Okwara twice. Center Frank Ragnow did the same with nose tackle Danny Shelton. And Joe Dahl got the best of Da’Shawn Hand on the first rep and managed to reestablish his anchor and slow a powerful bull rush on the replay. 

► The Lions were putting multiple offensive linemen through cross-training on Monday. Kenny Wiggins and rookie Jonah Jackson both saw time at center, while Tyrell Crosby got some work at guard. 

► Speaking of Jackson, he got the first crack as the team’s first-team right guard, while getting in at center with the second unit. During full-team drills, he did go to the ground a couple times. It’s unclear if it was an equipment issue or his feet were getting tangled. 

► Marvin Jones made the catch of the day during the first rep on seven-on-sevens, fully extending for a diving one-handed grab on a deep ball down the middle. 

► Runner-up to Jones was Victor Boldin, who reached around a defender for an underthrown ball from quarterback Chase Daniel for a touchdown in the back corner of the end zone. 

► First-round draft pick Jeff Okudah spent most of the afternoon with the second-team defense, ceding first-team work to Amani Oruwariye. Okudah had a couple reps in one-on-one, playing sticky coverage on a deep ball on the first. But when matched against Kenny Golladay, Detroit’s No. 1 receiver spun the rookie into the ground, breaking an in-cutting route back toward the sideline. 

► Rookie running back Jason Huntley, at 195 pounds, predictably struggled with some of his blocking assignments, but flashed lightning quickness in the open field, bursting through a hole on a cutback in a full-team segment. 

► Running back Jonathan Williams, signed in the morning, didn’t look out of place at all. His bigger frame was suited for some of the blocking work and he showed good vision and strength when running the ball in team segments. 

► Matthew Stafford was mostly sharp. His best throw came during a red-zone segment, when he feathered a ball over the head of cornerback Justin Coleman to Golladay in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. 

Stafford’s next throw wasn’t great. It easily could have been a communication error, but the quarterback put a ball right into the waiting arms of Desmond Trufant at the goal line. Unfortunately, the veteran cornerback couldn’t hold on to the fastball. 

More: Separated by just 6 miles, Lions quartet shaped by its ‘Rocket City’ roots

► Not much to report on the punter competition between Jack Fox and undrafted rookie Arryn Sippos, but during field goal work at the end of practice, Matt Prater’s two misses both came while Sippos was holding. 

► Coach Matt Patricia ditched the ATV and was walking around unencumbered between the two fields after last season’s leg surgery. 

► The only two players not practicing were defensive tackle Kevin Strong and offensive lineman Beau Benzschawel. 

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