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Lions depth chart: Projecting the two-deep going into training camp

What does the depth chart look like right now for the Detroit Lions? Here's a pre-training camp projection.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions will have several starting jobs up for grabs when training camp gets underway next month. As a result, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding certain positions on their depth chart. We won't even get a look at a depth chart from the Lions until the week of their first preseason game, and even then, that depth chart will be unofficial. An actual two-deep won't start to take shape until the latter stages of the preseason.

What this means is that if we want to examine a pre-training camp depth chart for the Lions, we have to fill in the holes on our own. This means taking guesses at positions like right tackle, outside linebacker, cornerback and kick/punt returner for the starters. It also means taking guesses at numerous positions when it comes to the backups. Most of these guesses are of the educated variety thanks to information from OTAs and this month's minicamp, but they are still guesses.

With that in mind, you can check out my Lions depth chart projection below. I do want to note that certain players have the ability to back up multiple positions, but I elected to have a different backup for each position in order to get more players involved. I also want to note that this depth chart is based in part on where things stand going into training camp, meaning certain players currently in my projected two-deep may not be on the depth chart or even the team by the end of the preseason. Take a look:

QB: Matthew Stafford | Shaun Hill
RB: Reggie Bush | Mikel Leshoure
WR: Calvin Johnson | Ryan Broyles
WR: Nate Burleson | Mike Thomas
TE: Brandon Pettigrew | Michael Williams
TE: Tony Scheffler | Joseph Fauria
LT: Riley Reiff | LaAdrian Waddle
LG: Rob Sims | Rodney Austin
C: Dominic Raiola | Dylan Gandy
RG: Larry Warford | Bill Nagy
RT: Jason Fox | Corey Hilliard

Perhaps the most notable aspect of my offensive projection is that Fox is ahead of Hilliard at right tackle. At this point, neither player has really jumped out to a lead in this battle for a starting job, but I continue to believe that a healthy Fox will ultimately win it. Speaking of health, I have Nagy backing up Warford at right guard even though he isn't healthy yet. With Austin listed as the backup at left guard and Gandy listed as the backup center, it was really Nagy by default since Leroy Harris and Jake Scott are so new to the team.

LE: Jason Jones | Devin Taylor
DT: Nick Fairley | Ogemdi Nwagbuo
DT: Ndamukong Suh | C.J. Mosley
RE: Ziggy Ansah | Willie Young
OLB: Ashlee Palmer | Tahir Whitehead
MLB: Stephen Tulloch | Travis Lewis
OLB: DeAndre Levy | Carmen Messina
LCB: Chris Houston | Bill Bentley
SS: Glover Quin | Amari Spievey
FS: Louis Delmas | Don Carey
RCB: Ron Bartell | Darius Slay

The two main starting spots up for grabs on defense are outside linebacker and right cornerback. Like right tackle, the race for the outside linebacker starting job seems wide open between Palmer, Whitehead and Lewis, but Palmer is the safe bet to start. Similarly, Bartell is the safe bet to start at right cornerback, at least at the beginning of the season. Those two positions were really the only source of uncertainty when assembling the defensive depth chart. (Note: It remains to be seen who will take free safety and strong safety between Delmas and Quin, but it doesn't really matter since the positions are essentially the same in the Lions defense.)

K: David Akers | Havard Rugland
P: Sam Martin | Blake Clingan
LS: Don Muhlbach
KR: Micheal Spurlock | Joique Bell
PR: Micheal Spurlock | Mike Thomas

Given that so many different players have already gotten reps at returner, having Spurlock as the starter on both kicks and punts is a complete guess. I'm basing this off his past success on kick and punt returns more than anything. (Bell and Thomas held the kick and punt return jobs at the end of last season, which is why they're listed as the backups.)

What does your Lions depth chart look like with a month or so to go until training camp?

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