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Just how accurate is the unofficial Lions depth chart?

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How accurate is the unofficial depth chart?

NFL: Detroit Lions-Training Camp Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions are quickly becoming an early morning team. They’ve been consistently breaking news at all hours of the morning all summer long. It’s really getting in the way of our beauty sleep and hindering our ability to be the most handsome Lions site on the web.

It’s a good thing we have the Pride Of Detroit Breakfast-O-Matic, or we’d never make it.

We definitely needed it Wednesday morning when the Lions dropped two big stories on us within a 30 minute period.

First off, the return of tight end Tim Wright. Tim missed the entire 2016 season with a torn ACL. The Lions decided they still wanted to hold onto him. We like it.

The other story is what this piece is all about: The Lions released their first unofficial depth chart of 2017 on Wednesday morning, and there’s a lot to see here.

Greg Robinson at starting left tackle, Kenny Golladay as the No. 3 receiver, TJ Jones as the four, and Quandre Diggs buried on the third team are examples of notable developments.

But just how accurate is this thing? How much salt should you ingest while looking at this chart? Let’s take a look at that. First off, here’s the chart released this morning:

Okay, the first thing to notice here is in the top left corner: "Unofficial depth chart compiled by Lions Football Communications." This means the coaching staff had nothing to do with compiling this depth chart, effectively rendering this as a pretty good hypothesis.

But will it be close? Let’s go back in time to see how close the communications team has been in the past.

2014

This one seems pretty dead on. Notable changes that happened were, of course George Johnson had a big preseason and moved up the chart. And we know Eric E,bron moved his way up, as well. Otherwise, it’s not far off.

2015

Again, this is pretty accurate. Here are all of the changes, most of them minor: Joseph Fauria got cut, Lance Moore moved up the chart, Darryl Tapp moved down and Diggs moves up. Manny Ramirez also eventually lost the starting job five games into the season. Overall, it was still pretty close, though.

2016

There are a ton of differences here. Let’s start on offense. Dwayne Washington worked his way up the chart, as did Andre Roberts and Cole Wick. Guys like Jeremy Kerley (traded) and Matthew Mulligan (cut) fell down.

On defense, Kerry Hyder had a huge preseason and took over when Ezekiel Ansah was hurt. Kyle Van Noy was traded and Jon Bostic spent the season injured. A’Shawn Robinson, Anthony Zettel and Khyri Thornton all moved up. Rafael Bush would end up losing the starting position to Tavon Wilson.

In Conclusion

Basically what we’ve learned is that while these unofficial depth charts can have some accuracy at times, it’s closer to an educated guess than anything. It’s best to wait till the official depth chart drops before we go making any snap decisions or assumptions about the players or the Lions’ plans.