4. Jahlani Tavai
With a handful of explosive plays, especially early in the season (remember his leaping hit at the goal line to force a Chargers fumble?), Tavai played well enough as a rookie to suggest that he just may end up being a good player in Detroit’s defensive scheme. However, he didn’t play so well that it feels like a sure thing, so the jury is still out on Tavai.
Considering all the scrutiny behind his much earlier than expected second round selection, the 250-pound wrecking ball stands to get every opportunity to prove himself this season. Fairly or not, Jahlani Tavai will most likely go down as Bob Quinn’s defining draft pick.
As it stands, Tavai’s position in this power ranking has the most room for fluctuation once the season gets under way. There’s potential for him to leapfrog both Christian Jones and Jarrad Davis, but perhaps just as much of a chance to slip behind one or both of newcomers Reggie Ragland and Elijah Lee.
5. Reggie Ragland
Reggie Ragland comes to Detroit as a bit of a wild card, snagged relatively late from the NFL champion Chiefs and searching for a fresh start. It’s a little difficult to project exactly where where he fits in among this crop, but the former unanimous All-American at Alabama certainly has top level talent. Missing his entire rookie season in 2016 with an injury is something that seems to have set back his NFL ceiling considerably.
It’s unlikely that he’ll ever be the dominant force that he was for ‘Bama, but Ragland still brings a ring and plenty of starting experience into Motown to push guys like Davis and Jones for playing time.
6. Jalen Reeves-Maybin
After nearly three years as a special teams anchor, Jalen Reeves-Maybin cracked the starting lineup for the final three games of 2019, notching six solo tackles in his best game (Week 16 at Denver). With that said, it doesn’t seem like he would have much room to move up the depth chart this season, considering all of the offseason movement at the position.