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Three Lions players primed to make their first Pro Bowl in 2016

The Detroit Lions have several talented players who have yet to make a Pro Bowl. Here are three that may end that streak in 2016.

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Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Last month, FOX Sports’ Cameron DaSilva compiled a list of what he thought were 11 players set to make their first Pro Bowl in 2016. No Detroit Lions players made the list, but the team is full of young talent ready to break out. Detroit does already have a handful of players that have already made the Pro Bowl, including Matthew Stafford, Golden Tate, Ezekiel Ansah and Glover Quin. But their talent goes well those players. Here are three players that may qualify for the Pro Bowl in 2016 for the first time in their careers.

DeAndre Levy

Levy's Pro Bowl snub in 2014 is still borderline criminal. Despite the disrespect, Levy still earned second-team All Pro that season after finishing second in the league in tackles.

This year Levy returns after a hip injury cost him the entire 2015 season. With Detroit’s defensive line now considered a strength again — especially in the middle — Levy is poised to have another fantastic season.

Darius Slay

After a slow, inconsistent start, Darius Slay finished the 2015 season with a breakout performance. A darling of Pro Football Focus, Slay managed to completely shut down his side of the field in the final half of the season. In a seven-game stretch starting in Week 6, Slay allowed just 11 catches for 128 yards.

Despite the impressive performance, Slay was not one of the eight cornerbacks named to last year’s Pro Bowl. He didn't even finish in the top 10 in fan voting. One big reason for that was his lack of interceptions. Despite his serious coverage skills, Slay only has four interceptions in his three-year career. However, Slay appears committed to making those game-changing plays as part of his repertoire. He recently told the media he was going to "hands school" to improve that aspect of his game.

Eric Ebron

Okay, okay, before you grab your pitchforks, hear me out. With Calvin Johnson retired, many see Ebron as the player most likely to pick up the slack. Ebron will be the Lions’ only true downfield threat on the roster, and with Jim Bob Cooter coordinating the offense from the get-go, Ebron could be in for a monster year.

It's also important to note that Ebron won’t have the fierce competition at the position he has had in years past. The NFL is switching the Pro Bowl format back to NFC vs. AFC. Why is that important? Last year of the six tight ends named to the Pro Bowl (four initial invitations, two replacements) only one was from the NFC: the Panthers’ Greg Olsen. Among NFC tight ends, Ebron finished eighth in yardage (537), 11th in catches (47) and tied for fifth in touchdowns (5) last season. With Ebron already statistically a top ten tight end in the conference, a leap to the top five isn't that inconceivable. The conditions are perfect for Ebron to break out and end his season in Hawaii Orlando.

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