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TWENTYMAN: Minicamp preview

The Detroit Lions begin their mandatory three-day minicamp Tuesday in Allen Park.

The minicamp is essentially a dress rehearsal for the start of training camp. It also gives Lions players and coaches three more days of quality work together before a six-week summer break before camp.

Here's a look at five storylines heading into minicamp:

1. Rookie watch

First-round draft pick Taylor Decker spent his time at left tackle in OTAs. The expectation is for him to do the same during minicamp, and then have a firm grasp on that spot heading into training camp.

A'Shawn Robinson, the team's second-round pick, has impressed coaches with his ability to pick up Teryl Austin's attacking scheme. His strength and power has also stood out, even without pads. He'll continue to try and impress coaches in an attempt to win a starting spot in August.

The rest of the Lions' rookie draft picks – Graham Glasgow, Miles Killebrew, Joe Dahl, Antwione Williams, Jake Rudock, Anthony Zettel, Jimmy Landes and Dwayne Washington – will also try and leave one last impression on coaches before the summer break.

Can undrafted free agents Cole Wick, Jay Lee, Adam Fuehne, Quinshad Davis or Chase Farris help their standing heading into camp?

**2. Offensive development


So far, offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter has had about two months to install his vision for this offense. It's a total install, and the heavy work was done through the course of nine OTA practices, but he's left a little meat on the bone to be installed over the next three days.

"We're throwing a lot at our guys and it's a lot mentally and it's a lot physically out here," he said last week after an open OTA practice. "They're handling it pretty well, but we've got a little bit more to come, but they're hearing a lot of it right now."

Quarterback Matthew Stafford seems to already have pretty good command of the offense, according to his teammates. Next up is installing the last bit and trying to get everyone up to Stafford's comfort level in it.

3. Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and ... ?

The Lions have to feel good about their top two receivers – Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. Both are experienced and proven producers, but there's some question marks on the depth chart after that.

Can Jeremy Kerley regain the form he showed for the New York Jets a few seasons back? Will TJ Jones take a giant leap forward in year three after a good finish last season? Who develops as the fifth receiver? Will it be a veteran like Andre Caldwell? Does one of the undrafted rookies step up?

There's still a lot to be settled at the receiver position.

4. Injury status

We know running back Ameer Abdullah (shoulder) and tight end Brandon Pettigrew (knee) won't be taking part in minicamp as they continue to rehab from surgery.

Defensive tackle Caraun Reid missed OTAs due to offseason ankle surgery. His status for this week's minicamp is yet to be determined.

After missing the first two weeks of OTAs, tight end Eric Ebron and right tackle Michael Ola returned to action for the final week of those practice sessions. Will they also take part in minicamp?

Running back Stevan Ridley and receiver Jeremy Kerley missed time recently due to undisclosed injuries. Safety Glover Quin has been limited when participating. Will the status of all three players change at all this week?

It's not uncommon for any player dealing with an injury, even if it's minor, to sit out minicamp in order to avoid complications or aggravation. Being 100 percent healthy for the rigors of training camp is priority No. 1.

5. Roster competition

One of the main goals Bob Quinn had after taking over as general manager in January was to improve the depth and competition level on this football team. He's been able to accomplish that at a number of different positions.

Defensive tackle is probably the deepest position on the entire roster right now, and the competition for those top five spots is going to be fierce in August. Can someone help themselves over the course of the next three days?

Starting spots at strong safety, SAM linebacker and at one of the defensive tackle spots next to Haloti Ngata are very much up for grabs. These spots will be won in August, but gains can be made now.

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