Observations: Hooker Finds Former Michigan TE, Special Teams Dominates

Here is a recap of Detroit's final open OTA practice.
Detroit Lions quarterback Hendon Hooker (2)
Detroit Lions quarterback Hendon Hooker (2) / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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On Tuesday, the Detroit Lions took the field for the final open session of organized team activities before breaking for training camp.

Many of the Lions' veterans were not present, as head coach Dan Campbell had previously stated that the team would dismiss the experienced players.

Instead, the final open workout was dedicated to allowing the young players on the roster to gain more experience.

Here are our observations from the Lions' final open session of OTAs Tuesday.

Participation

Below is a list of players spotted in attendance for the team's Tuesday OTA practice:

Offense

2 - Hendon Hooker
33 - Sione Vaki
80 - Jalon Calhoun
83 - Isaiah Williams
88 - Kaden Davis
43 - Parker Hesse
86 - Sean McKeon
59 - Giovanni Manu
63 - Duke Clemens
64 - Bryan Hudson
65 - Kingsley Eguakun
66 - Matt Farniok
73 - Christian Mahogany
75 - Colby Sorsdal
76 - Connor Galvin

Defense

41 - James Houston
45 - Isaac Ukwu
50 - Mitchell Agude
95- Mathieu Betts
51 - Ben Niemann
53 - DaRon Gilbert
57 - Nate Lynn
0 - Terrion Arnold
15 - Ennis Rakestraw Jr.
31 - Kerby Joseph
35 - Chelen Garnes
39 - Morice Norris
40 - Brandon Joseph
48 - Loren Strickland
90 - Chris Smith
94 - Mekhi Wingo
99 - Brodric Martin

Special teams

3 - Jack Fox
17 - Michael Badgley
43 - James Turner
47 - Scott Daly
49 - Hogan Hatten

Observations

1.) Both of the Lions' rookie cornerbacks -- Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw Jr. -- were on the field participating. For Rakestraw, the offseason has been focused around recovering from a surgery last winter, along with getting acclimated to Detroit's defense.

Rakestraw said Tuesday that he feels comfortable playing at 191 pounds and that the team was simply being cautious in its decision to limit him throughout workouts. He feels physically ready to contribute.

Arnold looked fluid, crisp and speedy during individual drills.

2.) Detroit's final open practice began with a 7-on-7 period that saw quarterback Hendon Hooker target and connect with Isaiah Williams, Parker Hesse and Sione Vaki. Throughout spring, Detroit's young signal-caller has found comfort and chemistry targeting his tight ends.

In the team's first situational period, starting at its own 35-yard line, the 26-year-old connected with Vaki across the middle, for approximately a 10-yard gain, on an intermediate crossing route. Unfortunately, the drive ended on two consecutive sacks, as Mitchell Agude found his way into the backfield on third-and-10.

During the team's second situational period, which began at the 49-yard line, Hooker connected with tight end Sean McKeon for a big gain to start the drive. After connecting with Hesse and Williams, Hooker's worst toss of practice was intended for Kaden Davis.

3.) The Lions have challenged second-year offensive lineman Colby Sorsdal more this spring, as he has been working all over the offensive line during OTAs and minicamp.

“He’s taking the right steps. He worked on some stuff we talked about in the offseason. We’re challenging him more," said offensive line coach Hank Fraley. "We’re going to move him around a little bit more, stuff like that, position flex, because he’s gifted enough to do it. He’s in a lot of good competition with those guys around him.”

4.) Special teams drills were predominant in Detroit's final practice. The media observed Jack Fox booming kicks, to go along with gunner and return drills for a significant portion of practice. Kaden Davis caught our attention due to his returner potential.

Linebacker Mitchell Agude, meanwhile, caught the attention of the coaching staff for his closing speed in one particular rep against Williams.

5.) On fourth-and-1, as the offense appeared to be attempting to draw the defense offsides, rookie offensive lineman Giovanni Manu ended practice with a false start.

Notes

1.) Two Lions finished in the top 50 in merchandise sales. Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson ranked 18th and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown ranked 33rd.

2.) Two of Detroit's preseason games will be televised nationally on NFL Network. The Week 2 matchup against Kansas City, set for Saturday, Aug. 17, and the Week 3 showdown against Pittsburgh, on Aug. 24, will both play out in front of a national audience.

3.) The Lions made a roster move Tuesday, waiving cornerback Craig James. The defensive back did not participate during minicamp while dealing with an injury.

4.) The annual media combine did not take place Tuesday, and it is unclear whether the annual competition will be rescheduled for a date in the future.


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John Maakaron

JOHN MAAKARON

John Maakaron has covered Detroit Sports since 2013. Brings a vast array of experience covering the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, Detroit Mercy Titans, and Oakland University Golden Grizzlies. John brings a wealth of sports broadcast experience. In 2013, John had the vision to establish the Detroit Sports Podcast Network. Has recorded over 3000 podcasts analyzing Detroit Sports. In 2019, Sports Illustrated Media Group, a historical sports media outlet, partnered with Detroit Sports Podcast to provide daily Lions content for their growing and expanding digital media outlet. Our Lions content can also be read in the newspaper at The Oakland  Passionate about Detroit Sports and it is reflected in his coverage of the local teams!