2015 Depth Charts Update: Detroit Lions
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- We expected Manny Ramirez to step in as the team’s starting center ahead of Travis Swanson, who struggled in 2014, but it seems like his first battle is with first round draft pick Laken Tomlinson at left guard. This is one to watch over the summer though, and we won’t be surprised to see him wind up as a starter at either spot by the time the season begins.
- How the Lions split carries at running back will be interesting, and a true running back by committee approach between Joique Bell, Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick looks like the best approach. Bell is a talented runner, but based on the past three seasons, we’ve seen his production drop as his usage goes up. Riddick saw just 174 snaps in 2014, but finished with a grade of +6.2, with his work as a receiver being particularly impressive.
- After losing Ndamukong Suh to the Miami Dolphins in free agency, the Lions had a gaping hole at defensive tackle. For that reason alone, the decision to trade for Haloti Ngata made sense and, despite his advancing years, Ngata can still perform at a high enough level to help the Lions defensive line. Suh wasn’t the only loss though, with C.J. Mosley and Nick Fairley also departing. That leaves new addition Tyrunn Walker as the current starter next to Ngata, with the former undrafted free agent impressive on limited snaps the past two seasons in New Orleans.
- How long can Rashean Mathis continue to perform at this level? We keep expecting a drop off from the player heading into his 13th year, but he continues to prove us wrong. Our 11th highest graded cornerback in coverage in 2014, he’s joined by Darius Slay, who continues to improve after entering the league in 2013.