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TIM AND MIKE: Rookie minicamp observations

Arm talent: The NFL restricted how many tryout players teams could bring in for rookie minicamp to just five guys, so the Lions didn't have a quarterback in camp this weekend. Instead, offensive quality control coach and former San Diego State quarterback Tanner Engstrand played the position Sunday, and I have to say he was pretty impressive. He threw a couple touchdown passes in a 7-on-7 period, including a beautiful long ball to wide receiver Javon McKinley. Engstrand did throw one interception to safety Nick Pickett. – Tim Twentyman

Off the edge: One reason the Lions drafted linebacker Derrick Barnes in the fifth round was because of his versatility. He was an outside pass rusher for two years at Purdue, and moved to the middle his senior year. On one play Sunday he lined up outside a tight end's right shoulder, got into the backfield with a quick move, then cut to his right to pursue the ball carrier. – Mike O'Hara

Competitive practice: Head coach Dan Campbell incorporated a number of competitive sessions into Sunday's final practice of rookie minicamp. There was a race around a couple tackling dummies between the offense and defense. Cornerback Jerry Jacobs called out wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown for a race, and St. Brown beat him. In fact, the offense was the overall winner. While the races were going on one field, the offensive and defensive linemen were playing what they call med-ball tennis on the other field. Campbell said competition is going to be a big part of everyday life in Allen Park, both in the building and on the practice field. – Tim Twentyman

View photos from the final day of Detroit Lions Rookie Minicamp on Sunday May 16, 2021 in Allen Park, Mich.

Greetings from the top: On separate occasions Sunday, GM Brad Holmes and Campbell took time away from practice to talk briefly with the media covering minicamp. It was a nice touch. – Mike O'Hara

Giant duo: Defensive tackles Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill combine to weigh over 600 pounds, but one thing that stood out Sunday was just how quick both players are off the snap. They both lined up in multiple techniques in Aaron Glenn's 3-4 scheme. Both have a chance to be a handful for offensive linemen. – Tim Twentyman

Middle man: McNeill is built like a nose tackle at 6-2 and 317 pounds, and he can play like one. But there's more to his game than that. He is light on his feet and explosive. He showed that on a play when he lined up in the gap and got into the backfield to disrupt a running play. – Mike O'Hara

Size outside: You get an appreciation of just how big cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu is by seeing him live. He's listed at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, and he stood out Sunday among the other defensive backs. He's also got speed and quick feet to match the size. He was good in 7-on-7 drills Sunday. Along with Amani Oruwariye (6-2), Jeff Okudah (6-1) and Quinton Dunbar (6-2), the Lions have really good size at the cornerback position. – Tim Twentyman

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