Rookie receiver Kenny Golladay, linebacker Jarrad Davis key to Detroit Lions’ victory
ALLEN PARK — When Kenny Golladay caught two touchdown passes in his first exhibition game, he became a rookie to watch for the Detroit Lions.
After he repeated the feat in his regular-season debut, there’s no telling how high expectations might soar for the young receiver.
“When I got to training camp, I realized this was real, and again in Indianapolis at the first preseason game, but this was a whole new level,” Golladay said. “This game counted, and that’s a rush.”
Golladay’s two touchdowns against Arizona on Sunday lifted the Lions to a 35-23 victory — and the second of those scoring plays was legitimately spectacular. The 6-foot-4 Golladay stretched out to make a diving catch of Matthew Stafford’s pass for a 45-yard TD, capping an impressive day for two of Detroit’s top draft picks this year.
The Lions took Golladay in the third round. Their first-round pick, linebacker Jarrad Davis, started and recovered a key fumble in the third quarter.
“I think it’s kind of been the last couple years we’ve had quite a few young guys playing for us early,” coach Jim Caldwell said Monday. “I think it helps us without question because they make plays for us and we’re just anticipating they got to keep working to keep it going.”
The Lions have had two drafts under general manager Bob Quinn, and while Davis and Golladay were representing the 2017 class well, several players Detroit picked in 2016 made an impact Sunday as well. A’Shawn Robinson (second round) and Anthony Zettel (sixth round) started on the defensive line. Zettel had a sack, and Robinson forced the fumble that Davis recovered.
Graham Glasgow (third round) started at guard, and Miles Killebrew (fourth round) returned an interception for a touchdown.