Lions: Position Battles to Watch in Coming Months
After their draft and rookie minicamp, the Detroit Lions have a full roster. Now they have to determine the pecking order. Most positions have locked-in starters, though a few remain open to competition. Here are four starting spots to watch as the summer begins.
Detroit splurged on offensive line help this offseason, signing ideal starters at right guard and tackle. Taylor Decker and Travis Swanson should return at left tackle and center, respectively. The only hole lies at left guard. Graham Glasgow, their third round pick from a year ago, is the early favorite there. He will have to fend off Laken Tomlinson and Joe Dahl for the job.
The secondary received a shot in the arm this spring, particularly with the drafting of Teez Tabor. Selected in the second round, the Florida cornerback will be given every opportunity to start opposite Darius Slay. Assuming Tabor lives up to his billing, the Lions have a logjam of slot cornerbacks. D.J. Hayden, who signed with the team in March, likely opens the season there. Nevin Lawson, a starter last year, could challenge the former Raider. A dark horse for the position is Jamal Agnew, who was drafted in the fifth round this year. The San Diego product boasts speed yet lacks size, which suggests a better fit in the slot.
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Bob Quinn announced that Jarrad Davis will play at middle linebacker, effectively putting the kibosh on any debate there. Now questions remain at both outside linebacker spots. Tahir Whitehead will move back to his original position outside, where he played in 2015. Paul Worrilow was signed this offseason to compete at Will linebacker, which could push Whitehead to Sam. Jalen Reeves-Maybin, a fourth round pick this year, has the potential to push these veterans. If the rookie from Tennessee progresses quickly, the Lions could have two promising young players in their linebacker corps.