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Projected 2014 starters: Detroit Lions

Around The League predicts the Week 1 starting lineups for all 32 teams, analyzing the potential impact of each rookie class. Click here for the complete series breakdown.

Detroit Lions Projected 2014 Starters
Offense
Defense
QB
DE
RB
DT
WR1
DT
WR2
DE
TE1
SLB
TE2
MLB
LT
WLB
LG
CB1
C
CB2
RG
SS
RT
FS

» There won't be many position battles on Detroit's offense despite the new coaching staff. The entire starting offensive line is back. New coach Jim Caldwell has made it clear that Reggie Bush and Joique Bell will split carries. Free-agent pickup Golden Tate will start opposite Calvin Johnson, and there is a huge fall to the team's No. 3 receiver.

» The lack of quality depth at wide receiver matters less because of the presence of No. 10 overall pick Eric Ebron. We list Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew as starters, and the order doesn't truly matter. Ebron will play more of a pure receiver role. Pettigrew will be asked to block, and he'll get starter-worthy snaps. This is going to be a base two tight end offense.

» Second-round pick Kyle Van Noy has prized versatility. He will be asked to perform a variety of roles from strongside linebacker, where he should take a starting job from Ashlee Palmer.

» Jason Jones will face a challenge to start from second-year pro Devin Taylor. Jones is coming off a torn ACL.

» The secondary remains a big weakness for the Lions. Cornerback Rashean Mathis was probably the team's best cornerback a season ago, but the Lions would likely prefer that he not start again. Darius Slay mostly struggled as a rookie and is coming off surgery. Strong safety James Ihedibgho is a stopgap solution.

» There is a lot of high-level talent here and not many egregious holes. This is hardly a rebuilding project for Caldwell; it's a roster built to win now.

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