Unsung hero of the week: Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • The Detroit Lions secured their first win of the preseason Friday night Youth Matthew Stafford Jersey , which means it’s time for our first post-win award for unsung hero of the week. The series highlights one player whose performance, be it throughout the whole game or in a single moment, played an important role in the Lions’ success but may not have been the most memorable. While there are some games where only so many players shine, the objective is to give credit where it may have been forgotten.Unsung hero of the week: Jake RudockJake Rudock’s future (or lack thereof) with the Lions is, unfortunately, fairly certain by now. Last week, Rudock’s inability to take advantage of a last-chance opportunity to work with the first team offense just about cemented Matt Cassel as the Lions’ backup quarterback. That was reaffirmed this week when Rudock didn’t play until the fourth quarter. When he did enter the game, however, Rudock made the most of it. He looked confident and in control of the offense, even daring to look towards middle and deep routes. On the second-to-last offensive drive of the game Rudock displayed some uncharacteristically nice touch on his passes, most notably on a rainbow to Brian Brown from across the field that fell out of Brown’s fingertips in tight coverage. After Brandon Powell’s 80-yard punt return touchdown, Rudock then tossed a perfectly timed lob to Brown in the corner of the endzone for the 2-point conversion, but an ill-timed jump rendered Brown unable to come down with it once again. On the final offensive series, Rudock again commanded the offense in a very un-Rudock-like fashion. The offense drove 60 yards down the field in 2:40 for the go-ahead score, with Rudock going 8-of-9 and getting everyone from Powell to Marcus Lucas to Dwayne Washington involved. Most notably, Rudock kept the drive alive with under a minute left when he scrambled for a first down on third-and-1 from inside the red zone. While it may be too little too late for Rudock, it sure was nice to see him look comfortable and commanding for a change. His game-winning drive, although not exactly pressed for time, came largely out of the hurry up and was a stark contrast to how Rudock looked in two-minute drills during joint practices last week.The reason Rudock is the recipient of this week’s award for unsung hero of the week is not because of himself, however—Rudock’s ability to run a no huddle offense against third stringers should not be a question. The importance of it is that he provides opportunities for other players; being on target and keeping drives alive by scrambling offers targets to those on the roster bubble or those looking to impress other teams once inevitably cut in the coming weeks. At the end of the day, if the writing is on the wall Authentic Michael Roberts Jersey , then he’s doing himself as much help as he is other backups by looking sharp late in the game. Whose performance from Friday night do you think was overlooked? Let us know in the comments.2019 NFL Draft Watch: 5 prospects to watch during Week 5 #12 West Virginia at #25 Texas Tech, 12:00 p.m. EST, ESPN2West Virginia QB Will Grier, 6-foot-2, 232 pounds (RS Senior)Grier is having a great start to his senior campaign, currently leading the Big 12 in passing touchdowns (14), completion percentage (74.7), yards per attempt (11.8) and passing efficiency (215.8)—he’s also top-five in the NCAA in all of these categories.Though he wasn’t much of a household name to start the year, Grier’s hot start is earning him some early Heisman buzz. He has shown the ability to throw accurately in a clean pocket, but also with a defender in his face. Grier is a solid athlete and is able to escape the pocket to make plays with his feet if needed, and he has also been praised for some of his intagibles—his leadership included.If I were a betting man—and I am—I would put a sizable amount of money on the Lions drafting a QB in the later rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft. They already have professional clipboard holders backing up Matthew Stafford, but what they need is some real, honest to god talent at the backup QB spot. Grier may be available later in the draft, and would be an immediate upgrade at throwing the ball over both Matt Cassel and Jake Rudock. Texas TechS Jah’Shawn Johnson, 5-foot-10, 185 pounds (Senior)Johnson is the heart and soul of the Texas Tech defense and you can see their struggles when they’re missing him. When the Red Raiders got him back for their matchup against Oklahoma State in Week4—after recovering from his shoulder injury—there was a noticeable improvement all across the secondary. Here’s what TTU head coach, Kliff Kingsbury, had to say about his defense following their win over OSU:Although a bit undersized, Johnson is sticky and plays the ball well in man coverage and is quick to close in zone, always making himself one of the first players to the ball on defense. The Lions are going to need help at safety with Quin possibly regressing and Tavon Wilson struggling at times. The front office will love Johnson’s ability to play the pass, the run http://www.authenticsdetroitlions.com/cheap-sam-martin-jersey , and even provide some value as a pass rusher. He’s as versatile as they come and would be a great addition to Patricia’s secondary.#4 Ohio State at #9 Penn State, 7:30 p.m. EST, ABCOhio StateWell, we already highlighted Nick Bosa back in Week 1, and while it’s early, I feel pretty confident right now that Bosa would be long gone by the time the Lions are on the board at the end of the first round—32nd overall pick, obviously. So let’s focus on some other draft-eligible prospects from OSU.RB Mike Weber, 5-foot-10, 214 pounds (RS Junior)With the Lions possibly parting ways with Ameer Abdullah after this year and having LeGarrette Blount on a one-year rental—and the slight chance of maybe getting rid of Theo Riddick, who may be seen as a cap casualty to some—there is a possibility the Lions may have a hole at the RB position heading into next year’s draft, despite trading up for Kerryon Johnson in the second round in 2018. I have a hard time believing the Lions would snag another RB in the early rounds, but I wouldn’t be surprised should they look for one a little later on.Weber’s small stature and injury concerns could push him down into the mid-to-late rounds of the draft, and could be a solid option for the Lions if they’re looking for extra depth. Kerryon has been lights out for the Lions in all phases of the game. Whether it’s running up the middle, getting outside on a toss play, or setting up on a screen to utilize his speed in the open field, Johnson has done it all—including lining up as a receiver and in pass protection.Weber is a little more one-dimensional and is more of a pure runner. When he’s healthy, he is extremely tough to bring down. He runs with a low center of gravity and has very good contact balance, often maximizing his yardage for the Buckeyes offense. If the Lions are serious about improving the run game for years to come, and are looking to get younger at the position, Weber would be a nice addition and could possibly be had in the mid-to-later rounds of the draft.IDL Robert Landers, 6-foot-1 Youth Jarrad Davis Jersey , 283 pounds (RS Junior)Landers isn’t the type of defensive lineman that Bob Quinn or Matt Patricia have been adding recently, per se. He’s more of an explosive pass rusher, and as you can see, not quite as heavy as the types of D-linemen the Lions have been looking for. However, while he is an exciting pass rusher and has an elite first step, Landers is also very strong and difficult to move at the point of attack. His hand usage is above-average, and he does a nice job of staying low to gain leverage.Landers should be available for Saturday night’s game after dealing with an undisclosed injury and missing last week’s win over Tulane, despite being listed as “probable.”Penn StateCB Amani Oruwariye, 6-foot-1, 203 pounds (RS Senior)Oruwariye has seen plenty of game action for the Nittany Lions, but this is his first year starting and has already made a name for himself notching three turnovers (two interceptions, one forced fumble) in four games. He has great size for the position, decent speed, and doesn’t appear to be lacking as an athlete. Oruwariye is constantly glued to his receiver. Combine that with his impressive wingspan, superior leaping ability, and magnificent ball skills, he’s got a chance to disrupt nearly every pass thrown his way.Though his calling card appears to be his ability to shut down opposing receivers in man-coverage right now, he’s not a shy tackler by any means, and his willingness and ability to make tackles in the open field is one of Oruwariye’s many strengths.