Nate Burleson took a few minutes out after practice on Wednesday to answer some fans’ questions during an ESPN.com live chat. There were plenty of interesting topics touched on there, but of particular note is that Burleson sung the praises of both wide receiver Patrick Edwards and rookie tight end Joseph Fauria.
Nate, Who of the youngbloods has impressed you the most so far during training camp? Is there anyone specifically that you’re mentoring and taking under your wing?
BURLESON: Patrick Edwards. I was a big Patrick Edwards fan last year before he messed up his hamstring. One, his college stats were through the roof, which raised on eyebrow. Then when i saw him run first hand, see how fast he is, that raised the other eyebrow. So somebody giving back to him and teaching him how to be a pro could elevate him to a premiere receiver in this league. in my eyes, he is going to be the surprise player that changes game this year. for those in fantasy football, pick him up! For the fans who love the Lions, start telling people now that you’re a Patrick Edwards fan so it doesn’t look like you’re jumping on the bandwagon late.
Hi Kevin and Nate! Nate … any thoughts on the two rookie TE’s? Both seem like they have good potential, but very different skill sets. As a WR, what is the relationship during practice between the WR group and the TE group?
BURLESON: Relationship is good. We keep an eye on each other. They are two very different skill sets. (Michael) Williams a traditional big body tight end. He has got big hands. Knows how to position his body well. He is very versatile. He can block out of backfield and use as an extra lineman also. Fauria, he is everything he looks to be. Extremely tall, big hands, and he plays like it. Runs like a giraffe. We’ve thrown some balls up to him that absolutely no one on the field can get to except maybe Calvin (Johnson). Not too many defenders can match that. Him and Calvin have probably caught the ball the best in this camp.
Yep, that’s Burleson comparing Fauria’s catch radius to Megatron. And it’s that ability that made the 6-foot-7 Fauria one of the more intriguing undrafted free agent signings around the league.
The Lions have Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler at the tight end spot, but there still may be room for both Williams and Fauria to get on the roster — the latter, potentially, at Scheffler’s expense.
Edwards, meanwhile, has spent plenty of time with the first-team offense in camp, including on Sunday during a scheduled off day for Johnson. The Lions lined up Edwards in the Z-receiver slot that day, with Burleson and Ryan Broyles on the opposite side of the line.