The Detroit Lions dropped their first depth chart for the 2020 regular season on Tuesday afternoon. And while we’d normally devote an entire post to it, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that these things really don’t mean all that much. Traditionally, these depth charts are created by organizations’ PR teams, not the coaches and general managers. They’re a formality and often don’t represent reality.
That being said, there are some mildly interesting quirks on the initial depth chart. Kerryon Johnson is listed as the starting running back with Adrian Peterson as RB2. Rookie running back D’Andre Swift is fourth, behind Ty Johnson, while Jamal Agnew is also listed as RB4 and the backup slot receiver. Agnew is also listed as the starting kick and punt returner.
On defense, third-overall pick Jeff Okudah is listed as the backup cornerback behind Desmond Trufant. However, the depth chart only has two starting cornerback positions, and nickelback Justin Coleman is the other one. Again, this is a prime example of why this doesn’t really mean anything, as either Okudah or Amani Oruwariye (listed as Coleman’s backup) will be starting on Sunday.
- Want a more accurate depth chart? Lions Wire’s Erik Schlitt has an extensive one that goes into detail about specific positions like “third-down runner” and “edge rushers” vs. “off-ball linebackers.”
- We wrote a little about it on Monday, but you should probably just watch all of Frank Ragnow’s highly-entertaining media session from earlier this week.
- Kyle Meinke of MLive has a great profile on wide receivers coach Robert Prince, who is referred to as the Lions’ CEO—Chief Energy Officer.
- OverTheCap has all the details of Taylor Decker’s new contract extension. Perhaps most notably, the Lions are getting quite a deal for the first two years:
Wow, Taylor Decker's cap number is $8.35 million this season and just $4.9 million in 2021. Jumps to $18.9 million in 2022.— Zac Snyder (@ZacSnyder) September 8, 2020
- Mike Rothstein makes a pair of bold predictions in ESPN’s Lions season preview. The first: Jeff Okudah wins Defensive Rookie of the Year. The second: well... I’m going to make you click for that one.
- A couple videos to close out today’s notes. First, I joined Detroit legend Fredi the PizzaMan’s YouTube show “Inside the Pizza Oven” to talk about my journey from behavioral therapist for children with Autism to sports writer, and share my thoughts about the 2020 Lions:
Earlier this week, I joined the Beared Down podcast to talk about the Lions’ upcoming Week 1 matchup: