Defensive line injuries give Lions rookies Ansah, Taylor chances to shine

ALLEN PARK, Mich. - The loudest corner of the Lions practice field is always in the northeast corner at the team's facility.

Thursday, the usually boisterous defensive line group ratcheted the noise down a few notches, thanks to injuries keeping players out of pads.

Israel Idonije, Jason Jones, and Willie Young all missed practice Thursday. Head coach Jim Schwartz classified all injuries as minor.

With three veterans sidelined, more attention was on rookies Ziggy Ansah and Devin Taylor during team drills.

Linebacker Stephen Tulloch praised Ansah earlier in the week, saying the first round pick out of BYU reminded him of ex-Tennessee Titans defensive end Jevon Kearse.

But Taylor, who stands tall at 6'8" and 267 lbs., has also impressed during camp.

"When the first-round draft pick is a defensive end, sometimes you sort of lose when another draft pick is a defensive end. All the attention goes to Ziggy, but Devin's had an outstanding camp," Schwartz said.

The fourth-round pick out of South Carolina has consistently drawn praise from Kris Kocurek during position drills, and has fit in well with the tough-minded group.

"He's one of those guys that has really shown up when the pads went on. Not only is he improving every day, but he's played his best in the full-padded practices," Schwartz added.

That being said, Schwartz left room for the rookie to grow.

"He's got a long way to go, but it's encouraging to see where he is and it's also encouraging the fat that he's played his best when it's been full-padded practices."

Brad Galli is a Sports Reporter at WXYZ Detroit. Follow Brad on Twitter @BradGalli

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