DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 20: Ndamukong Suh #90 of the Detroit Lions talks with Nick Fairley #98 on the bench while playing the Carolina Panthers at Ford Field on November 20, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
New to the team: Michael Cosgrove
Like defensive end, the Detroit Lions have a lot of talent at defensive tackle. Their entire D-line is outstanding when it comes to starting talent and overall depth. This will make it tough on the coaches to decide how many defensive linemen should be kept around and which ones should make the cut, but it's certainly a good problem to have.
At defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh and Corey Williams are returning as the starters. Suh had a down season in 2011 in more ways than one, but the hope is he will get back to his ways of 2010 this upcoming season. As for Williams, he has been a solid player for the Lions and one of the more underrated players on the defense in recent years. He should continue to be a big contributor on the D-line.
Behind the starters are Nick Fairley and Sammie Hill. Fairley is likely going to be suspended by the NFL for at least a couple games due to his off-field incidents this offseason. Once he's eligible to play, he will join the rotation at defensive tackle with Hill, who is back after signing a one-year restricted free agent tender. If how Fairley played against the New Orleans Saints in the regular season last year is any indication, he will be a force on the D-line.
The other two defensive tackles currently on the team are Andre Fluellen and Michael Cosgrove. Fluellen has been a versatile D-lineman since joining the team in 2008, but he may have a tough time sticking around in 2012 since there is so much depth on the defensive line. A Fairley suspension would likely buy him some extra time, but it's going to be tough to find room for him unless the Lions keep a lot of defensive linemen this year. The same goes for Cosgrove, who was signed as an undrafted free agent earlier this offseason.
Need going forward?
The Lions are set at defensive tackle in terms of players who will make the 53-man roster. They could add another camp body at some point during the preseason, but unless a rotational player goes down with an injury, there are no holes at this position, even with Fairley facing a possible suspension.