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Ranking the Lions' pre-free agency needs (Part 1)

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What are the Detroit Lions' biggest needs going into free agency? Here's a look at how we voted for spots 16-6.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, I had you guys rank the Detroit Lions' biggest needs going into free agency. 829 of you submitted a ballot, and the results are as follows for spots 16-6 (each position's average score is listed in parentheses):

16. Long snapper (2.43)
15. Punter (2.75)

These two special teams positions are viewed as the least of the Lions' concerns going into free agency. I'm a bit surprised long snapper came in dead last considering Don Muhlbach is set to become a free agent, but I suppose that is one of the easier positions to fill.

14. Kicker (5.53)
13. Tight end (6.53)
12. Quarterback (6.58)
11. Fullback (6.72)

This is an interesting collection of positions, especially when you consider how low kicker is on the list. I guess people are confident in the Lions' ability to re-sign Matt Prater, because this will be a pretty big need if he departs. Tight end and quarterback, on the other hand, are in much better shape. Tight end is already set, and at quarterback, the Lions just have to worry about the backup spots. Finally, fullback rounds out this tier given that starter Jed Collins is headed for free agency.

10. Safety (7.56)
9. Linebacker (7.57)
8. Center (7.98)

The starters all appear to be set at these positions, but I suppose the Lions could use a boost in the depth department. At safety, for example, the Lions could be in need of a new backup if Isa Abdul-Quddus isn't re-signed, and there's really no proven depth behind Travis Swanson at center. Linebacker seems to be in pretty good shape from a depth standpoint, but that notion is based in part on the idea that Josh Bynes will be back, and that's not necessarily a given at this point.

7. Defensive end (8.80)
6. Wide receiver (9.17)

These two positions both feature returning starters and a decent collection of backups. At defensive end, two of those backups (Darryl Tapp and George Johnson) aren't currently under contract for next season, so there's some work to be done to maintain the depth the Lions had last season. At wide receiver, meanwhile, the Lions could use an upgrade at the No. 3 spot, which is likely why this position came in just outside the top five.

The top five will be unveiled later in the week.