One of the interesting things about the Detroit Lions' 2014 preseason schedule is that all four of their opponents picked in the top eight of this year's NFL Draft. The Lions will open with the Cleveland Browns and close things out with the Buffalo Bills, and those two teams picked eighth and fourth after making a trade with each other (and a separate deal with the Minnesota Vikings in the Browns' case). In between, the Lions will face the Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars, which picked fifth and third, respectively.
By facing teams with such high draft picks, the Lions are set to take on several notable rookies in the 2014 preseason. For starters, they will open the preseason against cornerback Justin Gilbert, who was projected to go to the Lions in many mock drafts but went to the Browns at No. 8 instead. The Lions will also get to see quarterback Johnny Manziel in Week 1 of the preseason, as the Browns nabbed him later in the first round.
The Lions will get more rookie quarterbacks in the following two weeks. Oakland's Derek Carr, a second-round pick, and Jacksonville's Blake Bortles, the third overall pick, should both see the field against the Lions, and don't forget about Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack, who was the fifth overall pick. What's more, the Jaguars selected wide receivers Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson in the second round this year, and they should provide a good test for the Lions' secondary.
Finally, in Week 4 of the preseason, the Lions will get to see Sammy Watkins, the fourth overall pick. The Lions spent a significant amount of time scouting Watkins before the draft, and many people believed that they were going to trade up for him. Instead, the Bills jumped up for Watkins, and now he's set to take on the Lions in the preseason. It remains to be seen how much playing time he will actually get considering this is the preseason finale for both teams, but the Lions will get to see Watkins again in the regular season when the Bills visit Ford Field on Oct. 5.