Los Angeles Clippers scouting reports

HoopsHype presents scouting reports for the 2022-23 Los Angeles Lakers, including Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

The Los Angeles Clippers in 2022-23 were thought to be one of the deepest teams in the NBA, with elite talent at the top and excellent role players surrounding them. If they were healthy, maybe that would be the case.

Below, check out our scouting reports for the 2022-23 Los Angeles Clippers players.

Los Angeles Lakers scouting reports

HoopsHype presents scouting reports for the 2022-23 Los Angeles Lakers, including LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The Los Angeles Lakers remain loaded with talent at the top of their depth chart with some decent-to-good role players filling out the rest of the rotation.

Below, check out our scouting reports for the 2022-23 Los Angeles Lakers.

Drew Forbes: What the Lions are getting in their new OL

Our Jeff Risdon knows Forbes’ game well from his days covering the Browns. Here are his thoughts on the new Lions lineman.

The Detroit Lions unexpectedly added another offensive lineman to the active roster when the team claimed Drew Forbes off the waiver wire on Monday. Forbes joins the Lions after being waived by the Cleveland Browns in some roster shuffling on that squad.

Forbes joins the Lions and rejoins the man who drafted him in the sixth round in 2019 in Cleveland, Lions special assistant John Dorsey. I was in Browns training camp for several practices that year and saw Forbes firsthand, and did again in the summer of 2021 for a couple of practices.

What are the Lions getting in Forbes?

To start, let’s go back to Dorsey’s days as the Browns GM. Dorsey was instantly attracted to Forbes as an under-the-radar prospect at FCS-level Southeast Missouri State. Despite little national attention, Forbes got something of a cult following amongst hardcore OL draftniks for his outstanding athleticism and physical dominance.

Dorsey was the most notable fan. He personally attended Forbes’ pro day in 2019. Forbes, all 6-foot-4 and 307 pounds of him, did not get any postseason all-star game invites or a trip to the scouting combine.

Dorsey and the scouts from a handful of other teams–one of them the Los Angeles Rams, whose scouting department was run by now-Lions GM Brad Holmes–witnessed a fantastic workout. Forbes ran a 4.87 40-yard dash, a 30-inch vertical jump and a great short shuttle and 3-cone drill performance.

Forbes was even the subject of a Sports Illustrated feature called “Prospect X”, which profiled an anonymous small-school prospect and the hype growing around him.

Here’s what Dorsey said after drafting Forbes, who played left tackle in college but was projected in Cleveland at right tackle or right guard,

“He’s got incredible athleticism, so why not try him at left or right tackle? If that doesn’t work, then move inside, I mean that’s how you do the offensive line. Let them see what their natural position is and then move forward. He is a very athletic and talented guy who is mature, tenacious, and smart.”

In his rookie training camp in 2019, Forbes competed for the starting RG position with the Browns. The athleticism was obvious, but so was the lack of high-level experience and technical polish. The competition ended for Forbes, ironically enough, when he injured his knee in Detroit in the final preseason game and went on IR after the initial roster cutdowns (the Browns temporarily released starting LT Greg Robinson to sneak Forbes onto the 53-man roster).

Forbes returned late in the year but played sparingly and only on special teams. He was active for just two games. Then came 2020.

The pandemic year. Limited interactions, no hands-on training or coaching. Forbes opted out for the season, one of four Browns players to exercise their option to sit out 2020 without any penalty due to COVID-19.

When Forbes returned in 2021, everything in Cleveland had changed. Wyatt Teller, who the Browns traded for from Buffalo when Forbes got hurt, quickly developed into an All-Pro-caliber right guard. Dorsey was gone, as was OL coach James Campen and head coach Freddie Kitchens. The Browns changed offensive schemes to a more outside-zone run style and the greenhorn Forbes did not adapt quickly.

Cleveland briefly toyed with trying Forbes back at tackle, but he just couldn’t handle the speed of the game on the edge. While a very impressive athlete, Forbes’ physical prowess didn’t easily translate to the NFL field. He became something of a guard/tackle tweener–not strong enough to play guard, not fast enough to play tackle. He was reliably adequate, nothing more, in pass protection at guard. Forbes really struggled to engage targets in the run game and had a bad tendency to rise straight up and lose leverage when he did.

He wasn’t bad. But Forbes was technically raw and not progressing nearly as quickly as hoped. Coming off a playoff win and completely set at his position, Forbes’ development wasn’t a priority for Cleveland and it showed.

The Browns shuffled in several new offensive linemen and Forbes never really progressed following the opt-out season. The lost year of reps and then another knee injury in 2021 stunted his development

Now Forbes is back with the man who once saw a potential starter in him in Dorsey. The Lions have an exceptional OL coach in Hank Fraley, who has done a great job developing young talents like (former Browns C) Evan Brown and UDFA guard Tommy Kraemer a year ago. The combination of confidence in the young athlete and technical skills development is worth a shot for the Lions. But Forbes is starting out from the bottom of the depth chart at both guard and tackle.

Personally I hope the Lions try to make Forbes happen at tackle. He’s lacking the great length the team prefers, but the physical tools are there to handle pass protection in a swing role. Detroit is weaker at reserve tackle than guard, too.

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Kendall Lamm: What the Lions are getting in their new OT

Scouting report on new Lions OT Kendall Lamm from our Jeff Risdon, who covered Lamm in both Houston and Cleveland

The Detroit Lions signed veteran offensive tackle Kendall Lamm on Monday. Lamm joins the Lions after undrafted rookie Zein Obeid retired and left a hole on the offensive line depth chart.

It’s a smart signing by GM Brad Holmes. Lamm, 30, has been around several NFL teams and has starting experience. I covered Lamm for two of his former teams, the Houston Texans (2016-2018 seasons) and Cleveland Browns (2019-2020). Here’s my take on the follically gifted Appalachian State product.

Lamm has 28 career starts in his seven-year career. Almost half (13) came in the 2018 season for the Texans, where he was the primary starting right tackle from Week 4 onward, including a wild card playoff loss to the Colts.

Most right tackles tend to be more power-oriented players (think Penei Sewell) but Lamm has proven to be something of a pass-blocking specialist. That was especially true in his season as a starter in Houston. He’s just not a player who generates much movement in the run game and isn’t an aggressive slobber-knocker type of tackle. He was a poor schematic fit in Tennessee in 2021 for the style of run game the Titans like to roll with Derrick Henry.

Lamm is at his best in pass protection with the pass rusher aligned off the line (3-4 OLB). He’s got a decent first step and quick enough feet to slide and reset well against wide speed. Lamm can jab quickly with his punch and does a good job riding outside rushes around the top of the pocket, a trait that worked well with mobile Deshaun Watson at QB in Houston and also with Baker Mayfield in Cleveland.

Power rushers who can quickly get into his chest are a problem for Lamm, and that’s something unlikely to change now that he’s 30 and bounced around three teams. He does have some athleticism, something he showed in catching a touchdown pass in Cleveland in 2020:

The Lions have some depth issues behind Sewell and left tackle Taylor Decker. Matt Nelson is still a work in progress as the swing tackle, and none of the crew of Dan Skipper, Darrin Paulo or Obinna Eze has stepped up enough this offseason to assuage any concerns. Lamm can absolutely win the No. 4 OT job and could push Nelson for the swing OT position, especially if he can handle the range in the run game.

Lions training camp notebook: Looking at the lines on Day 12

8 USFL players the Detroit Lions should consider

8 USFL players the Detroit Lions should consider after the league’s first season completed

The first season of the rebooted USFL completed Saturday night in Canton, Ohio. The Birmingham Stallions held off the Philadelphia Stars in a very entertaining and competitive championship game.

Much of the USFL talent pool is filled with players who would love to advance into the NFL. And more than a few showed they have enough ability or unique traits for NFL teams like the Detroit Lions to take a longer look at them now that the USFL season is complete.

Here are eight USFL players who stood out as players the Lions scouting department should dive deeper on in advance of training camp.

Devin Funchess: What the Lions are getting in their new TE

Devin Funchess: What the Detroit Lions are getting in their new tight end signed this week

There’s a new member of the Detroit Lions offense as OTAs wrap up in Allen Park this week. The Lions signed veteran tight end Devin Funchess on Tuesday.

Yes, tight end. The Lions themselves made the distinction in their media release announcing they’ve signed Funchess.

Michigan Wolverine fans probably recall Funchess as a wide receiver, the position he played in Ann Arbor from 2012-2014. He was also a wideout in his prior NFL stops with the Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers, but that designation probably deserves an asterisk.

Funchess always played wide receiver with some of the skills that easily translate to tight end. At 6-4 and 215 listed pounds at Michigan, he had the size to play a hybrid role. College recruiting services ranked Funchess as a tight end coming out of Harrison High School in suburban Farmington Hills. His quickness off the line, or relative lack thereof, is much more akin to a tight end than the D.K. Metcalf or Mike Evans of the oversized WR world.

During the 2015 NFL draft process, many teams asked Funchess to work out as a tight end. He wound up being drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the second round, No. 41 overall.

Carolina kept Funchess at outside wide receiver and he had an interesting tenure with the Panthers, who listed him as a 232-pound wide receiver.

As a rookie, Funchess was a big part of the Panthers offense. While he caught just 31 passes for 473 yards and five touchdowns, he was second on the team in WR targets, catches and yards. That was the run-heavy Carolina team with Cam Newton in his MVP season that made the Super Bowl, where the primary passing target was tight end Greg Olsen.

The Panthers rarely asked him to play anything like a TE. In his most productive season, the 2017 campaign, Funchess aligned as an inline tight end exactly 11 times per Pro Football Focus. Nearly 80 percent of his snaps in his four seasons in Carolina came as an outside wide receiver, not in the slot or inline.

That 2017 campaign was an illuminating one for both Funchess and the Panthers. He led the team’s wide receivers in every statistical category (Christian McCaffrey dwarfed them all at RB) and caught more than 50 percent of his targets for the first time. But his inability to get separation and his pedestrian run-after-catch ability hamstrung the Panthers offense to some extent. He was gradually phased out of the starting lineup and down the WR rotation in 2018, with the team leaving him inactive in two key games down the stretch of a playoff push. The Panthers didn’t have any problem letting him hit free agency

Those qualities that weren’t dynamic enough at wide receiver should translate better at tight end for Funchess. Based on a recent Instagram post he made, the 28-year-old appears to have embraced fully bulking up to handle the more advanced physicality of playing tight end.

We have to rely on Instagram posts because we haven’t seen much of Funchess since he left Carolina for Indianapolis after the 2018 season. He broke his collarbone in Week 1 for the Colts and never played for Indy again. He bounced to the Packers for the 2020 season, but Funchess chose to opt out during the COVID-19 pandemic. Playing exclusively at outside WR in the 2021 offseason for the Packers, Funchess didn’t make it out of the preseason after suffering a hamstring injury.

The reinvention as a full-fledged tight end is a savvy gamble on the part of Funchess. The best attributes he showed as a wide receiver could help him find greater success playing TE: big target, enthusiastic (if not always effective) blocker, reliable route runner.

If he’s healthy, Funchess joins what figures to be a very active competition for the TE spots behind Pro Bowler T.J. Hockenson in Detroit. He’ll compete with veteran blocker Garrett Griffin and young receiving-oriented TEs in second-year players Brock Wright and Shane Zylstra, as well as fifth-round rookie James Mitchell.

 

John Cominsky: What the Lions are getting in their new DE

John Cominsky: What the Lions are getting in their new defensive end claimed off waivers from the Falcons this week

There is a new defensive lineman in Detroit with the Lions claiming John Cominsky off waivers from the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday. It’s a calculated acquisition to find a gem that just didn’t fit with the changes in Atlanta. Can he fit in Detroit?

Cominsky was a fourth-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft after an impressive finish to his career at Charleston, a D-II school in West Virginia. A former option QB in high school in Northeast Ohio, Cominsky really bulked up and emerged as a viable NFL prospect with a stellar senior season that saw him bag 16.5 TFLs, three sacks and two forced fumbles for the Golden Eagles.

Drafted by the Falcons as a 285-pound end for their 3-4 defense, Cominsky didn’t have an easy positional fit. While he’s a very impressive athlete in terms of quickness and movement skills for his size, a 6-foot-5, 285-pound speed-based defensive end is a tough transition from D-II to the NFL. He tested significantly better at the 2019 combine than he ever translated to the field for the Falcons.

The prior Falcons regime, headed by GM Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn, viewed him as a player who could start at base DE in the 4-3 scheme and kick inside on pass-rush downs. He showed some progress after not playing much as a rookie.

Cominsky played quite a bit more in 2020 and demonstrated some interior pass-rushing ability. His length and quick feet were better served inside, though he was almost exclusively a pass-rush specialist at DT.

The Falcons changed regimes and schemes for 2021, and the move did not portend well for Cominsky. He wasn’t stout enough as a 3-4 DE or lithe or savvy enough to play as an OLB in the odd-man front. As a result, he barely played. That greatly contributed to his release from Atlanta.

Here’s the skinny from Falcons Wire editor Matt Urben:

Cominsky was drafted by previous Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff in the fourth round of the 2019 draft. While playing for former head coach Dan Quinn — who ran more of an attacking 4-3 scheme — Cominsky developed into a solid rotational defensive end who could also slide inside on pass-rushing downs. In 2020, Cominsky played 44 percent of the team’s defensive snaps and racked up 21 pressures, however, the Falcons would fire both Quinn and Dimitroff after an 0-5 start that year. Atlanta hired Dean Pees as DC in 2021, but Comsinky just wasn’t a great fit in that 3-4 base defense.
The former Charleston standout played in just four games last season.

While his release wasn’t a total surprise, I completely understand why the Lions claimed him. Cominsky’s got a good motor and fits Detroit’s scrappy mentality. And more importantly, he’s a much better fit in Aaron Glenn’s defense where he can provide quality reps at both DE and DT.

I interviewed Cominsky at the 2019 Senior Bowl and got a chance to watch quite a bit of his Charleston tape after it became clear the Matt Patricia-era Lions had considerable interest in Cominsky. Here are my abridged notes from prior to the 2019 NFL draft on Cominsky:

  • Smart vs. the run, good tackling power
  • Very quick feet and good balance for a taller guy
  • Lacks power, especially in the lower body
  • No real sense of how to counter blocking or attack as a pass rusher on the outside
  •  Bad tendency to get straight up after engagement with blocker

One notable thing about Cominsky in Atlanta: he played at 275 pounds, down from his top college weight. For an interior player in Detroit’s new-look 4-man front, that’s very light. He projects to compete with Detroit’s recent second-round picks, Levi Onwuzurike (2021) and Josh Paschal (2022) for reps as a base end who can also play inside. Romeo Okwara and Michael Brockers are veterans in that role, too. If Cominsky bulks back up and adds functional lower-body strength, he could find a role playing more as a straight 3-tech DT in Detroit. He did not show that sort of ability in Atlanta, however.

It will take more pass-rushing oomph from Cominsky to crack the Lions lineup, but he does have developmental potential even after three NFL seasons. At minimum, he’s got a better chance to stick around than the man he replaced on the 90-man roster, kicker Aldrick Rosas.

Mike Hughes: What the Lions are getting in their new CB

Breaking down where free agent CB Mike Hughes fits into the Lions secondary

When the Detroit Lions signed free agent cornerback Mike Hughes, they added a versatile and young new member to the secondary. Signed for one year and up to $3.5 million (contract details are not immediately available), Hughes comes to Detroit after one season in Kansas City.

What are the Lions getting in Hughes?

He’s something of a familiar face and name for Lions fans. Hughes was a first-round pick (No. 30 overall) by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2018 NFL draft.

It didn’t go well for Hughes in Minnesota. After earning the slot CB role under defensive-minded head coach Mike Zimmer — notorious for not handing jobs to rookies — Hughes suffered a nasty knee injury in Week 6 while returning a kickoff. The recovery process did not go as swiftly as hoped and impacted his speed.

The Hughes who played in the slot in 2019 and 2020 in Minnesota looked a step slower and less explosive in breaking on the ball than the early rookie or the standout at Central Florida in college. Another serious injury derailed 2020 after just four games, this time a broken bone in his neck.

Now he was damaged goods. Never the fastest CB to begin with (a 4.53 40-yard dash at the 2018 combine), Hughes couldn’t get back his top gear and had a neck injury to worry about as well. His coverage in short-range situations remained pretty good, but the downfield routes and chasing receivers on drags and posts proved troublesome. Hughes was never a solid, sturdy tackler either.

Minnesota gave up on Hughes, trading him to Kansas City for a 6th-round pick swap and a 2022 seventh-round pick. It proved to be a worthwhile trade for the Chiefs.

Hughes was healthy in 2021 and the Chiefs had a better vision of how to use him. Instead of flipping him between the slot and playing outside like the Vikings did near the end of his time there, Chiefs DC Steve Spagnuolo kept him almost exclusively outside in their blitz-heavy base 4-2-5 defense.

Hughes lacks ideal size on the outside, but he doesn’t mind being physical. He’s solid with his jam in man coverage and has quick enough feet to handle sharp-breaking routes. The Chiefs played a lot of 4-1-6 (dime) and he stayed outside in a defense designed to funnel to the middle of the field.

Two things stood out in watching Hughes in 2021: his tackling was better and his aggression at attacking the ball looked like the prospect at UCF instead of the guy the Vikings bailed on. He still needs help with the faster wideouts (see the Buffalo and Cincinnati games) and his long speed is never going to be an asset. He’s also shown struggles with quick-footed receivers in off-man coverage. Hughes is at his best when he can help control the release instead of reacting to it. Fans who watched the AFC divisional round game against the Bills saw this firsthand.

The playmaking flair Hughes showed during the season was a welcome bonus. He earned the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his Week 14 game against the Raiders where he returned a fumble for a touchdown, forced two other fumbles and logged nine tackles.

In Detroit, Hughes should figure into the starting mix in the Lions’ base 4-2-5 as an outside CB. If 2021 rookie Ifeatu Melifonwu kicks inside to the slot, Hughes will battle oft-injured Jeff Okudah for the starting outside CB job opposite Amani Oruwariye. Jerry Jacobs factors into the mix after his recovery from knee surgery too, with the potential to bump Okudah inside as well. Hughes’ own path can help with Okudah, who is following a similar career arc through his first two seasons.

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Garrett Griffin: What the Lions are getting in their new TE

The Lions signed former Saints TE Garrett Griffin. What are they getting in their free agent tight end?

It’s been a selective offseason in free agency for the Detroit Lions. One of the two (so far) outside free agents signed by GM Brad Holmes is tight end Garrett Griffin, formerly of the New Orleans Saints.

The Lions signed Griffin to compete to be the primary blocking tight end. That’s been his primary role in his first five NFL years, all spent with the Saints.

What are the Lions getting in Griffin?

Griffin has played in 20 games since joining the Saints as an undrafted free agent from Air Force back in the 2017 season. He’s coming off his most extensive usage in the 2021 campaign, where he played 235 offensive snaps and started six games.

Griffin was used by the Saints almost exclusively as an inline blocking tight end. He does have decent hands, however; the 28-year-old caught all four passes thrown his way, netting 39 yards. All were of the dump-off and short-range variety.

Guys with that meager of production don’t last in the NFL for five years unless they can block. That’s where Griffin earns his money and why he held appeal for Detroit. He’s an adept lead blocker in the run game, good at engaging targets at the second level and creating a seal for the RB to read.

In my limited film study (4 games from 2021), I liked Griffin as a run blocker. He’s smart and quick, and he sustains the block well after initial contact. Griffin isn’t nearly as good as a pass protector, unfortunately. He overcommits on the first move and doesn’t have the athleticism to recover if he doesn’t win right away.

He does have some special teams experience and can also work out of the backfield as an H-back type of tight end. His route running consists of nothing more than safety valve work.

It’s a low-cost signing for Detroit that adds competition to a tight end room that is wide open outside of Pro Bowler T.J. Hockenson. Signing Griffin doesn’t eliminate any potential for the Lions to select a tight end in the later portion of the 2022 NFL draft. He figures to compete with Jared Pinkney, Brock Wright, Shane Zylstra and Matt Sokol for depth at TE.

Brady Breeze: What the Lions are getting in their new safety

Scouting report on new Lions rookie S Brady Breeze, who the team claimed off waivers from the Titans on Monday

There is a new safety in Detroit after the Lions claimed Brady Breeze off waivers from the Tennessee Titans this week. Breeze joins the Lions after being waived by the Titans in the middle of his rookie season having played sparingly in Nashville.

What the are Lions getting in Breeze?

Aside from the cool alliterative name, Breeze brings some youthful promise to the Lions. He was a sixth-round draft pick out of Oregon in the 2021 NFL draft, a former teammate of Lions first-rounder Penei Sewell.

Like Sewell, Breeze opted out of the 2020 college season for the Ducks. His last college game was a great one, however. Breeze earned the Rose Bowl MVP against Wisconsin for his 11-tackle performance that also included a forced fumble and recovery for a touchdown. It was his third defensive score of the season, showing an opportunistic bent to his game.

The effort and playing style from Breeze is one of a kneecap biter. He goes maximum effort on every snap and doesn’t shy away from contact or hitting. The instincts in the run game are readily evident. Breeze is good at attacking downhill from a high safety spot, especially against interior runs. He’s very adept at filling the proper hole at the right time.

He will hit in coverage and Breeze has some pop behind his pads. He plays bigger than his 6-foot, 196-pound frame would suggest. That style of play and physicality is also present in special teams duty. Breeze played exclusively on punt and kick teams with the Titans. Even in the preseason, Breeze couldn’t get on the field on defense.

In coverage, it’s understandable why the Titans let him go. Even at Oregon, the speed of the passing game often moved a little too fast for Breeze. He’s an average overall athlete but doesn’t have great play speed or closing burst. The chase-down speed just isn’t there.

One area where he really struggled in college was in changing directions on the fly. If his hips turned outside and he had to recover inside, Breeze was in a lot of trouble.

In Detroit, expect him to start out playing the same as he did with the Titans: special teams. If he can’t shoehorn his way into the coverage and return units quickly, Breeze might not be in Detroit for long. It’s a real stretch to see the coverage issues and limited on-field play speed affording Breeze much of a chance to play on defense, even in the Lions’ injury-ravaged secondary.