A look at the Detroit Lions projected starters before the NFL draft

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tracy Walker, Detroit Lions
Tracy Walker, Detroit Lions (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /


Projected Starter(s): Tracy Walker, Dean Marlowe (or Will Harris)

Draft probability: High

Expect Detroit to run a fair amount of three safety sets this upcoming year. For now, free safety Tracy Walker has a slight edge at his position. Although, strong safety is wide open. It wouldn’t hurt to keep adding safeties.

The Lions did show interest in free agent safety Damontae Kazee, who is a pure free safety. Safety Dean Marlowe could play both strong and free safety. So, Detroit could draft a strong safety early in the draft and have Marlowe be their sub-package player.

Special Teams

Projected Starters: Randy Bullock, Jack Fox, Don Muhlbach

Draft probability: Non-existent for punter and long-snapper, Low for kicker

Punter Jack Fox and long snapper Don Muhlbach aren’t going anywhere. And if Brad Holmes does decide to draft a long snapper, he needs to go find former general manager Bob Quinn and buy him a drink.

There is a chance Detroit goes for a kicker in the late rounds. Potentially Florida’s kicker Evan McPherson or Miami’s kicker Jose Borregales. This would require the Lions to acquire more picks at some point in the draft unless they decide to be bold and take a kicker in the fourth or fifth round. And that isn’t a good idea as teams can still find starting-caliber players in those rounds.

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Final Remarks

Detroit is set up to take the best player available with most of their picks. Outside of running back, they could go in any direction and it would be somewhat justifiable to do so. The Lions can take their time rebuilding because there is no pressure to win next year. Ultimately, that’s the best thing they have going for them.