Continuing its series of ranking position units team-by-team, SB Nation took a look at linebackers today. Previously, rankings were done for cornerbacks and safeties, and they weren't too good for the Detroit Lions. The Lions' cornerbacks came in at No. 30 in the NFL and their safeties were ranked 27th.
The linebacker edition of the rankings is much better for the Lions. It shouldn't be a big surprise, as there is more talent at the linebacker position than in the secondary. This is why the Lions are ranked 14th on the linebackers list.
Detroit was smart not to let Stephen Tulloch get away this spring. Justin Durant is a good player on the outside. Injuries pushed former Oklahoma linebacker Travis Lewis to the seventh round, but he has the talent to grow into a contributor if he can stay healthy. DeAndre Levy, the other starter, could play better than he has.
What I like most about the Lions' linebackers is the amount of depth there is at the position. The starters are solid with Tulloch, Durant and Levy, and behind them there are several guys who have a lot of potential. As mentioned in the above quote, Lewis has a lot of promise, and fellow rookie Tahir Whitehead has drawn very positive reviews so far as well. Doug Hogue, another young player, is improving quite a bit, as is Ashlee Palmer.
In 2012, a lot of these backups will contribute on special teams, and some could also get into the rotation at linebacker.