Detroit Lions OTAs Observations: Jared Goff ON TARGET, Jameson Williams Off, Jahmyr Gibbs Explosive

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The Lions held the second session of OTAs open to the media on a sunny, hot Thursday afternoon to kick off June. It’s still non-contact and voluntary, so drawing any conclusions from what we saw is way too hasty, but there were a few interesting developments from the practice fields in Allen Park.

Here are some quick notes and observations from the unpadded practice session that leads into next week’s mandatory minicamp.

Gibbs looks great

Detroit Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs (26) practices during OTAs at Detroit Lions headquarters in Allen Park on Thursday, June 1, 2023.

First-round running back Jahmyr Gibbs continues to impress with his movement skills and receiving ability. In a backfield with a few RBs who can catch and contribute in the passing game, Gibbs is clearly the top dog. His acceleration and footwork in his routes would lead someone who didn’t know better to think he’s a starting-caliber wide receiver. Natural hands, quickly secures the ball and accelerates out of the catch, too.

The team still isn’t allowed to have contact or wear pads, so it’s not like he’s being threatened with a big hit. But man, is Gibbs impressive working out of the backfield as a receiver.

Surprise standout

Detroit Lions wide receiver Maurice Alexander (15) makes a catch during OTAs at Detroit Lions headquarters in Allen Park on Thursday, June 1, 2023.

Maurice Alexander does not get much attention in the wide receiver room. He made those of us in attendance pay attention on Thursday with a spectacular day.

Alexander looked great in his routes. Crisp footwork led to no wasted motion or false steps, and No. 15 caught everything thrown near him. He had to kick in the afterburners to haul in a deep outside throw from QB Adrian Martinez and Alexander made it look smooth.

He took reps in both the slot and outside. Last season, Alexander only saw action as a kick returner beyond his one catch for seven yards. More days like this and Alexander will threaten to make a bigger impact in 2023.
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