The Detroit Lions released their first unofficial depth chart yesterday. There were a few surprises, though for the most part they were only formalities. Rookies are not just awarded positions, they have to earn them, but the preseason games should took care of that.
Kyle Van Noy is currently listed as the backup to Ashlee Palmer at linebacker. Van Noy is highly touted and did very well with the first team yesterday, but Palmer won’t go down without a fight. This actually may end the toughest competition in camp. Van Noy is the long term solution here, but Palmer’s fierce desire to compete should make this a hard fought battle.
Eric Ebron is also currently listed as third on the depth chart behind Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. Ebron is getting first team reps though and will be the official starter during week one of the regular season, barring injury. Fauria had a nice touchdown catch over cornerback Cassius Vaughn in drills yesterday. Fauria will get his touches in the red zone this season, his height and hands will make him a valuable weapon, but Ebron was drafted to open up the middle of the field and the Lions need him to do so.
After all the talk of how important Theo Riddick will be to this offense, he is currently listed behind Mikel Leshoure on the depth chart. Make no mistake, this is a competition for the third running back on the team behind Reggie Bush and Joique Bell, but this was a bit of a surprise. The designation between the two may have more to do with the Lions once again trying to shop Leshoure in a trade, but value wise the best move may be to keep all four, with Leshoure being the most likely candidate to remain inactive on Sunday’s, his only real opportunity arising due to injury.
At the wide receiver position, the current backups to Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate are listed as Kevin Ogletree and Kris Durham. If that holds true it could be a bad sign for Ryan Broyles chance’s of making this team. Jeremy Ross will definitely be a member of the receiving corps and it’s unclear whether or not the Lions will carry a sixth receiver on the roster, instead placing one of the young players on the practice squad. If Broyles isn’t able to leap frog Durham or Ogletree, it could spell the end for him with Detroit.
Again, this is only the first depth chart, and it’s more for media relations than an actual reflection of who will start and who will play. A few surprises, but the real story will be how it develops going into preseason week three.