Detroit Lions OTAs: Biggest standouts from Week 1

By | May 26, 2024

The Detroit Lions began their organized team activities last week, and one of the sessions was open to the media, which allowed us to see inside the team’s practice for a day.

The Lions have been releasing some photos and videos over the course of the offseason, but none of that compares to getting insights from people who are actually on the ground. We don’t just get the good, we get the bad, also.

For now, we’re focusing on the good. We’re taking a look at Lions players who were the biggest standouts during the first week, based on the observations of writers on the ground.

Here’s who we came up with.

Lions OTAs standouts

WR Jameson Williams

It’s not so much what Williams did on the field that made him stand out, but what was said about him off it.

Head coach Dan Campbell heaped praise on Williams, calling him the team’s most improved player this offseason and noting that the Alabama product is “a man on a mission” and has improved “everywhere.”

“I think I’ve matured a lot,” Williams said. “Coming in the league, I still had some childish ways. Wanted to do what I wanted to do, and how I wanted to do it. Sometimes you got to listen, and just be on the right track.”

This is great news for the Lions, as they need more out of their former first-round pick, especially after the departure of Josh Reynolds in free agency.

K Michael Badgley

Badgley received some praise from special teams coordinator Dave Fipp, who noted that the veteran kicker has shown improved leg strength this year. Badgley then went out and proved it, drilling field goals from 52 and 60 yards at Thursday’s open session of OTAs.

Badgley has some competition for the role from UDFA James Turner, who Fipp also praised for having a big leg. And, it might not be long before another player enters the mix, with the Lions reportedly having interest in UFL star and Michigan Panthers kicker, Jake Bates.

QB Hendon Hooker

Hooker, who is now a full season removed from a torn ACL suffered in college, caught the eye of The Athletic’s Colton Pouncy, who noted that the quarterback created some buzz with one of his throws on Thursday and was solid overall.

It was fun watching Hendon Hooker sling it in a team setting for the very first time. Really nice touch on his deep ball. Good velocity. One of his best plays of the day was a deep ball down the right sideline to Daurice Fountain, which drew “oooohs” and “aaahhs” from the team. Reminder: This is just OTAs and the team isn’t even in full pads, but Hooker put forth some good reps today.

Hooker’s future with the Lions as a starter looks bleak after the team gave Jared Goff a massive extension. However, the Lions still need Hooker to be a quality backup, and if he can show out in whatever opportunities he gets, perhaps the Lions can flip him for a draft pick down the road.

LB Jack Campbell

Campbell received some praise from defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, who said that the second-year linebacker is “a grown man” and has “really taken control of this offseason the way he should take control of it.”

Glenn also called Campbell a “true MIKE backer” and has been impressed with the way the Iowa product has handled his zone drops and led the defense overall.

DL Brodric Martin

Martin has noticeably gotten in better shape this year, something that was apparent when the Lions started sharing photos from offseason workouts. However, Glenn confirmed Martin has “adjusted his body to be an NFL defensive lineman,” but cautioned that we won’t know how far he’s come until the pads come on.

CB Terrion Arnold

Per Tim Twentyman of, Arnold was running with the ones on the outside opposite Carlton Davis, which is exactly where we expect him to be. More importantly, Twentyman also noted he didn’t see Arnold “get challenged much,” and that’s “a good sign a rookie is acclimating pretty well.”