2017 Lions Offensive Depth Chart Predictions
Oh, prediction season is upon us. With NFL offseason team activities in full swing, it’s only right if someone predicts a team’s depth chart with overhyped OTA’s now in the rearview mirror. These next few months will be fun ones, and will most definitely lead to some fierce position battles.
QB: Matthew Stafford (QB1), Jake Rudock (Backup), Brad Kaaya (Practice Squad)
First off, only two quarterbacks on the active roster this year, so a team may try to poach Brad Kaaya off the practice squad. Right now, however, the backup quarterback job is Rudock’s to lose. With one year under his belt, Rudock will know more about the system and will be more helpful when Stafford is dissecting the defense between drives. Even despite all that, the backup quarterback race will be a fierce one.
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RB: Ameer Abdullah (RB1), Theo Riddick (3DRB), Zach Zenner (Power Back), Dwayne Washington (KR/PR), Tion Green (Practice Squad)
To some extent, the running back depth chart is already set in stone. Dwayne Washington could have a phenomenal training camp and preseason to unseed Zach Zenner from the No. 3 back. Tion Green makes the practice squad here, while Mike James and Matt Asiata get the axe. There isn’t a whole lot to watch for with the running backs in terms of a position battle.
WR: Golden Tate (WR1), Marvin Jones (WR2), T.J. Jones (Slot), Jared Abbrederis, Kenny Golladay, Jace Billingsley
The Lions keep six wide receivers on the roster this season, but they could easily dump Billingsley to the practice squad for one more year. Abbrederis is on the list purely based on his impressive performance during OTA’s, but he could easily get dropped, leaving Detroit with only five receivers. T.J. Jones is an interesting pick here. He has a small sample size in the NFL, and hasn’t put up a lot of numbers in that span. This is certainly a position to keep an eye on during training camp and the preseason.
TE: Eric Ebron (TE1), Michael Roberts (TE2)
Detroit drops Darren Fells in this prediction. Having signed a one-year contract this offseason, he wouldn’t be a huge loss, and Roberts can play the same role Fells would. The Lions don’t run many two tight end sets, but with the release of fullback Michael Burton, we could see just that. Darren Fells could easily make the opening day roster if Michael Roberts fails to impress with his blocking.
OL: Taylor Decker (LT), Graham Glasgow (LG), Travis Swanson (C), T.J. Lang (RG), Rick Wagner (RT), Joe Dahl, Corey Robinson, Laken Tomlinson, Greg Robinson
Assuming Bob Quinn doesn’t trade away Laken Tomlinson before the season, the offensive line unit should look something like this. However, Taylor Decker going down to a shoulder injury may shake things up. Decker’s left tackle spot should be a fierce competition, especially after the Lions traded for former No. 2 overall pick Greg Robinson.