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5 questions heading into rookie minicamp

Rookies hit the field in Allen Park later today for the start of the annual rookie minicamp.

For the rookies taking part in the minicamp, it's their first introduction to the NFL. Next week they get thrown into the offseason training program with the veterans, where it's sink or swim.

Here are five things to keep an eye on during this weekend's rookie minicamp:

**1. Where does Taylor Decker line up?


One of the things the Lions liked most about Decker, other than the fact he helped Ohio State to a 50-4 record in his time in Columbus, is the fact that he's got some position versatility.

"We're going to put him in the mix with the rest of the tackles on the roster and see who the best players are at the right positions," GM Bob Quinn said after selecting Decker with the No. 16 overall pick.

Coaches are likely to line him up at both left and right tackle this weekend to help prepare him for the upcoming competition with the veterans at both spots.

2. Will the Lions find undrafted gems for a fourth year in a row?

In each of the last three seasons, at least two undrafted free agents have made the initial 53-man roster. In 2013 it was tight end Joseph Fauria and tackle LaAdrian Waddle. In 2014 it was tackle Cornelius Lucas and safety Jerome Couplin. Last season, running back Zach Zenner and safety Isaiah Johnson made it. This year's crop will get to make first impressions starting Friday.

**3. Can Zettel fill out the DE rotation?


Ziggy Ansah, Devin Taylor and Wallace Gilberry are the top three edge rushers on the roster. Kerry Hyder was on the practice squad last season and Brandon Copeland split his time between defensive end and outside linebacker in 2015.

The team took former Penn State product Anthony Zettel in the sixth round in hopes he can potentially slot into the rotation. He played defensive tackle and defensive end at Penn State, but Quinn said he'll be an edge rusher in Detroit's scheme.

Because of their numbers at the position, Zettel could have a unique opportunity as a late-round pick (sixth round) to make an early contribution.

4. Will the Lions keep two or three quarterbacks?

There's a lot that will happen between now and the time that decision needs to be made, but Jake Rudock gets his first chance this weekend to start running through Jim Bob Cooter's offense. Coaches will start to see how his skillset fits the offense and how quickly he can retain information.

Quinn really liked Rudock's workout for the team last month, which is one of the reasons they drafted him in the sixth round.

This weekend is all about learning the offense. In OTAs, mincamp and training camp, he'll start competing with Dan Orlovsky for the backup job.

5. What does the team have in running back Dwayne Washington?

Washington has size and speed, and is a good receiver out of the backfield. He's a seventh-round pick, so he's by no means a clean prospect, but he has some physical traits that are interesting.

"I found him to be an intriguing player," executive producer of NFL Matchup and senior producer at NFL Films Greg Cosell told of Washington.

"He profiles best as a sub-package back, who can align both in the backfield and detached from the formation. Excellent receiving skills with multiple dimensions in that role. If this kid turns out to be a good player, and there's no guarantee, I could see him and (Theo) Riddick on the field together."

There will be plenty of competition for the third and fourth running back spots behind Ameer Abdullah and Riddick. Zach Zenner, Stevan Ridley, Washington and George Winn are all in the mix.

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