Mandatory minicamp begins on Tuesday for the Detroit Lions. Though the practice sessions aren't really all that different from the prior organized team activities from the past few weeks -- pads are still not permitted -- there is still much we can learn from these sessions. Here are some questions we're looking to get answered in the next few days.
Will Taylor Decker continue to exclusively receive left tackle reps?
Although six of nine OTA sessions were closed to the media, every single photo, highlight or reporter account of those practices showed Decker as the first-string left tackle, with Riley Reiff sliding to the right side. If the Lions continue this trend, Decker may already be considered a lock to be the team's starting left tackle before training camp even starts. Moving Reiff to right tackle is not something that should be taken lightly. A change in position is a serious undertaking, and I don't believe the Lions would be wasting reps on it if that weren't their final intention.
Can anyone challenge Rafael Bush for the starting strong safety position?
At this point, it looks like Bush has distanced himself from the pack for the starting safety role. Miles Killebrew is still probably too young and too raw to win the position outright before the start of the season. But who could realistically challenge Bush? Isaiah Johnson? Tavon Wilson? Bush has plenty of experience, but he's never started more than seven games in a season. The Lions need some competition there.
Who will step up at wide receiver?
Even ignoring Calvin Johnson's retirement, the Lions receiving corps is undergoing a major overhaul. Beyond Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, not much is certain. Jeremy Kerley seemed like a good shot to win a spot on the roster, but when the Lions signed another veteran slot receiver in Andre Roberts, his job suddenly became more expendable. Will TJ Jones finally break out this season? Does UDFA Jay Lee have a realistic shot at the roster? Is anyone even paying attention to Andre Caldwell? That's a lot of question, and so far, the answers have been sparse.
Who will be squeezed out at defensive tackle?
The Lions now have a bunch of young, promising talent in the middle of their defensive line. Second-round draft pick A'Shawn Robinson is a lock to make the roster, but what does his addition do for players like Gabe Wright and Stefan Charles, two promising young players who have yet to fully display their talent? The Lions have tough decisions looming in August, and while nothing will be decided after a three-day padless practice session, we should get some insight into what the Lions coaches are thinking.
Who will win #LONGSNAPPERWATCH2016?
In one corner, you have the beloved 13-year veteran: Don "Muhldozer" Muhlbach. In the other, the rookie, the unproven Jimmy Landes. Fans have grown to have a pretty strong affinity toward Muhlbach in his long career, but with a new general manager in town, Landes has to be the odds on favorite to win the job come August. Still, it'll be interesting to see how the position battle proceeds throughout the offseason. Plus who doesn't want to see beat writers tweet out long snapper updates?