From Week 1 to Week 17 – and even in the preseason – the Detroit Lions' 2019 rookie class distinguished itself with individual highlights.
Following is a look back at highlight plays of the eight 2019 draft picks who made the Lions' roster, and five rookies who made the roster as undrafted free agents.
Draft picks, by round:
1. TE T.J. Hockenson
Spectacular debut: A 23-yard TD catch in Week 1 vs. the Cardinals highlighted a hot start to his career: 6 catches, 131 yards, a long reception of 39 yards.
2. LB Jahlani Tavai
Goal line punch out: On first and goal at the Lions' one, Tavai made the key play to prevent the Chargers from adding to a 10-6 lead in Week 2 by punching the ball out of running back Austin Ekeler's hands. The Lions recovered and went on to win, 13-10.
3. S Will Harris
Packers sack: In Week 17 the Packers were driving with third and eight across midfield when Harris sacked quarterback Aaron Rodgers for an 11-yard loss, forcing a punt to protect the Lions' 7-0 lead. Harris played all 16 games with six starts and closed out his rookie season with his best game.
4. DE Austin Bryant
Strong close: Injuries limited him to four games, all in the last six games, but he made an impression Week 17 by playing a season-high 54 snaps. He had four tackles, also a season high.
5. CB Amani Oruwariye
Pick on the best: Rodgers doesn't have many interceptions, which made Oruwariye's Week 17 interception one to remember. It came with 1:40 left and the score tied. It was Oruwariye's second pick of the season and one of four for the season for Rodgers.
6. RB Ty Johnson
Speed, going 65: He didn't get a lot of playing time to showcase his speed, but it was on full display in the final game against the Packers. Johnson had a season-high 65 yards on three carries with a long run of 40 yards, also a season high.
6. WR Travis Fulgham
Preseason preview: He didn't get much playing time because of veteran depth at the position, but a 35-yard sideline catch against Houston in the second preseason game and a 52-yarder vs. Cleveland in the finale showed why the Lions drafted him. He's a big receiver (6-2, 215) with body control.
7. TE Isaac Nauta
Ready reserve: He was promoted from the practice squad for the last six games and provided valuable depth as a combination fullback/tight end. A 10-yard catch for a first down kept a drive gong to a field goal as the Lions battled back from a 21-0 deficit against the Bucs. A 20-yard TD against Cleveland in the preseason finale showed his potential to play multiple roles.
QB David Blough
Story book beginning: There's no better way to describe it – a 75-yard TD pass to wide receiver Kenny Golladay on the second throw of his first NFL game against the Bears on Thanksgiving Day. Blough also hit wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. with a TD pass on the second possession. A magical beginning to his five starts.
OL Beau Benzschawel
Learning curve: He won a roster spot for the regular season with his performance in playing every offensive snap in the final preseason game vs. Cleveland. He was on the roster for all 16 games and played on special teams in two games.
DT Kevin Strong
Lived up to name: He was a strong contributor to the interior rotation in eight games before gong on injured reserve. He had a tackle and a pass defensed in the Week 3 road win over the NFC East champion Eagles.
RB Wes Hills
Two for one: He made the most of his promotion from the practice squad for the Week 15 game vs. the Bucs. He scored two TDs, both on one-yard runs, while gaining 21 yards on 10 carries.
DB C.J. Moore
Double duty: Primarily a special teams player in all 16 games, but his versatility was utilized in eight games in the secondary as a backup.