As we start to look ahead to training camp, we're going to take a position-by-position look at the Detroit Lions roster. Next up is the defensive tackle position. (The final year of each player's contract is listed in parentheses.)
Back from last season: Caraun Reid (2017), Roy Philon (2016)
New to the team: Haloti Ngata (2015), Tyrunn Walker (2015), Gabe Wright (2018), Jermelle Cudjo (2015)
There are quite a few new faces at defensive tackle this year for the Lions, to say the least. Last year's top four of Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, C.J. Mosley and Andre Fluellen are all now on other teams, leaving the Lions with a brand-new two deep going into the 2015 season.
As far as the depth chart goes, really the only certain thing at this point is that Haloti Ngata will be a starter. That's a given after he was traded to the Lions from the Baltimore Ravens this offseason. He is going to step into Suh's shoes as the Lions' top defensive tackle, and fair or not, he will likely be compared to Suh throughout the year.
The other starting spot seemed like it was going to belong to Tyrunn Walker, who signed with the Lions as a free agent, but Caraun Reid seemingly got the majority of the No. 1 reps next to Ngata during last month's minicamp. At this point, it looks like Reid and Walker will battle it out during training camp for the second starting spot, although I suppose we shouldn't completely forget about fourth-round pick Gabe Wright, who figures to be in the defensive tackle rotation in some capacity as a rookie.
In addition to those four players, the Lions also have Roy Philon and Jermelle Cudjo at defensive tackle. They look like nothing more than camp bodies, and even if there's an unexpected change to the top four at defensive tackle, it's hard to envision either player making the team.
Need going forward?
Given that the Lions reportedly made an offer to Mosley and kicked the tires on free agent Mike Patterson back in May, it doesn't necessarily seem like they're completely content with their current group of defensive tackles. Even if it's a minor move to add some extra competition in training camp, this seems like a position that could gain another new face in the coming weeks. The top four does seem like it's already settled, but it wouldn't be surprising if the Lions add another defensive tackle to the mix this summer.
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