The Detroit Lions have now completed five days of training camp, and rookie wide receiver Quintez Cephus continues to make plays day after day.
Yes, it may be against some second-and-third-team defensive rotations. But, it’s better than the alternative of making no plays and chalking it up to rookie development.
As a fifth-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, the expectations were not necessarily very high this season for the ex-Badgers wide receiver.
Considering that the top three players on Detroit's depth chart at the wide receiver position are basically set in stone, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if the reserves only play sparingly and more often than not, only due to injury.
Behind Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola, there is a variety of size, speed and experience, including Cephus.
If Cephus can accomplish what he has in training camp on gamedays, Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell may have no choice but to find a way to get him on the field.
From Saturday's practice only, it was difficult to find anything but glowing reviews regarding Cephus' performance.
He has simply caught balls thrown to him from every which way, and has demonstrated the good hands that impressed Detroit's coaching staff pre-draft.
Recall, Bevell’s former relationship with Wisconsin played an integral part in Detroit's interest in Cephus.
Wisconsin offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph was a former teammate of Bevell's back in the early 1990s when both excelled on offense for the Badgers.
Rudolph was the starting left guard on the 1993 Wisconsin team that won the Rose Bowl with Bevell at quarterback.
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Following the completion of the 2020 draft, Detroit general manager Bob Quinn described the potential he saw in Cephus.
“Cephus is a really, really strong player, very physical, great catch radius, strong hands,” Quinn said.
He added, “Coach Bevell has a strong relationship up at Wisconsin, and one of his former teammates is one of the coaches up there. We really got a good recommendation on that player (Cephus) in the fifth round."
Detroit may decide to move on from Amendola or Jones or potentially both following the 2020 NFL season, and Detroit's newest wide receiver could be waiting in the wings to take over.