- The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner and Colton Pouncy note the Lions have a ton of battles for starting jobs and roles on the defensive side of the ball heading into camp. That starts at cornerback, where outside of Amani Oruwariye things are pretty wide open.
- The duo write that converted S Will Harris is probably the early favorite to start across from Oruwariye, but he’ll be pushed hard by former first-rounder Jeff Okudah and Jerry Jacobs if both are healthy.
- They add that at inside linebacker, the loose incumbents to start camp will be veteran Alex Anzalone and 2021 fourth-rounder Derrick Barnes. However, the Lions added a lot of competition this offseason, including Chris Board, Jarrad Davis, re-signing Shaun Dion Hamilton and drafting Malcolm Rodriguez. Anzalone and Barnes will have short leashes.
- Baumgardner and Pouncy point out Lions DC Aaron Glenn loves using three safeties, so third-round rookie Kerby Joseph could see a lot of playing time even if he doesn’t beat DeShon Elliott to start. Lions CB Ifeatu Melifonwu also worked at safety during the spring and could factor in there.
- Rob Demovsky of ESPN says Packers LT David Bakhtiari is the player with the most to prove heading into training camp as he returns from injury.
- He also believes that backup QB Jordan Love will excel in camp and have the opportunity to prove himself once more in the preseason while starting QB Aaron Rodgers sits out.
- According to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero, Packers second-round WR Christian Watson received $150,000 guaranteed in the fourth year of his deal.
Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah arrived in Minnesota with a reputation as instantly one of the NFL’s most analytically inclined GMs. So when he largely elected to stand pat with most of the same roster that capped out at 8-9 last season, it caused some confusion. Adofo-Mensah explained his strategy as a “competitive rebuild” and noted he didn’t want to blow the team up for the sake of blowing it up.
“If it were a seven-game series, yeah, best team wins,” Adofo-Mensah said via USA Today’s Jori Epstein. “That’s ultimately why when you’re team building, you never want to go full Rams. Because you need to give yourself three chances at it, four years at it. I know that’s hard for fans to hear.”
Adofo-Mensah still is an expert when it comes to the numbers, though. He made his name as a front office executive for designing empirical analyses of talent and prospect scouting. One area he might have a leg up on his counterparts around the league is in probabilistic thinking and not being too overconfident in any single decision.
“On the math side, I hope it’s not going to sound arrogant, but I speak that better than any other GM,” Adofo-Mensah said. “I don’t know that I speak (football) better than them, but my worst thing is probably better than their worst thing. You know what I mean? So I think my ability to communicate in really every room in the football building makes me unique. Now still: You’ve got to build a football team.”