Gabe Wright off and running with Lions

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) Less than a week after the NFL draft, the newest Detroit Lions suited up to take part in the team's three-day rookie mini-camp.

All 28 draft picks, undrafted rookie free agents and first-year players attended, including first-round pick Laken Tomlinson and second-rounder Ameer Abdullah, who have yet to sign contracts.

Detroit also invited 31 potential rookies to try out for a spot in the team.

''It went good today,'' fourth-round pick Gabe Wright said after Friday's practice session. ''We were able to execute a lot more fluently. I feel like we put a lot more plays in. That's part of it, in a mini-camp. They're treating us just like they would the veterans.

''I've almost filled up my notebook in two days.''

Although he has been in pads for just a few sessions, Wright has seen how intense the jump up to the NFL can be - and Detroit defensive line coach Kris Kocurek has made sure to give him and the other defensive front rookies and crash course.

''He gets after you,'' Wright said. ''What I like most is that he'll tell you he's going to get after you in the practice room, and he'll do just that. It makes it fun. He's not changing up on us, and everything he does is definitely for the betterment of his players.

''He has said a couple things I wouldn't like to say to the media. It's all for motivational purposes. He gets the best out of his players, and I can see that just after two days.''

The terminology and speed of the game will take some getting used to, the players admitted. But both of the team's cornerback selections, Alex Carter and Quandre Diggs, said they haven't faced too many surprises in their first days of camp, because of familial connections to the NFL.

Carter's dad, Tom, was selected by Washington in the first round of the 1993 draft, and Diggs' brother, Quentin Jammer, played 12 years in the league.

''Whatever it is, we're always competing against each other all the time,'' Diggs said. ''Even when he was playing high school ball, and I was in little league, we competed against each other. ... But because of him, I'm pretty familiar with the game and the ins and outs of the league.''

Carter has worked with his father since little league, too. And took his dad's advice about which position would best suit his skill set.

''He told me, `You can go play receiver in college and the pros, but you might be average because you're only 6-foot,''' Carter said. ''Or I could be a 6-foot corner and go make big money, so that clicked for me.''

Carter went on to be a three-year starter at Stanford, left after his junior season and was taken in the second round.

The most important part of the last two days, for Carter, has been focusing on the play book, doing his homework and making sure he is as prepared as possible.

''I'm really trying to pick up the defense as much as I can, be in the play book every single night, learning everything, all the checks and adjustments, at every position,'' Carter said. ''Not just corner, but also nickel and safety, so I know where everyone is at.

''I feel pretty good so far, I felt good today and yesterday. I feel like I have most of the concepts down, which is good. Everything else is just like different language and whatnot.''

The season, which begins Sept. 13 at San Diego, is a long way off. For now, the newest Lions are just trying to make a solid impression on coaches and fellow teammates.

''If I can be the best Gabe Wright I can be, I feel like that will take care of itself,'' Wright said. ''It's the NFL. I knew, coming in, that I was going to have to work my butt off, regardless if I am competing for the practice squad or to be in the rotation.''

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.