Our latest series on the Detroit Lions roster continues with a comparison of the linebacker position from 2014 to 2015. Did the Lions improve at linebacker? Let's take a look.
2014 LBs: DeAndre Levy, Stephen Tulloch, Tahir Whitehead, Josh Bynes, Ashlee Palmer, Kyle Van Noy, Julian Stanford, Travis Lewis
2015 LBs: DeAndre Levy, Stephen Tulloch, Tahir Whitehead, Josh Bynes, Kyle Van Noy, Travis Lewis, Julian Stanford, Brandon Copeland, Jerrell Harris, Kevin Snyder
The Lions didn't make any major changes at linebacker this offseason. Not re-signing Ashlee Palmer was really the most notable move, and he was known best for his special teams contributions anyway. In terms of additions at this position, Brandon Copeland is probably the most significant one, as he drew interest from 12 total teams after an impressive performance at the Veteran Combine.
Did they improve?
The Lions didn't make any major changes, but their linebackers should be much improved in 2015. For starters, Stephen Tulloch is back at middle linebacker after tearing his ACL early in the 2014 season. Getting him back will be nice for the defense, and it will allow Tahir Whitehead to slide back out to strongside linebacker. On top of that, the Lions should get an improved Kyle Van Noy after an injury kept him out for much of his rookie season, and just generally speaking, there is a lot of depth at linebacker on paper.
What about compared to 2013?
2013 LBs: DeAndre Levy, Stephen Tulloch, Ashlee Palmer, Tahir Whitehead, Travis Lewis, Rocky McIntosh, Julian Stanford, Cory Greenwood
There are a lot of familiar names on this list, so the above paragraph applies here as well. Between Tulloch, Whitehead and DeAndre Levy, the Lions have a pretty solid starting trio at linebacker, and their group of backups is quite impressive as well when you factor in guys like Van Noy and Josh Bynes.