All-NFC North Offense: How many starters do the Lions have?

Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions
T.J. Hockenson #88 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

WR1: Davante Adams

WR2: Justin Jefferson

Backups: Allen Robinson, Adam Theilen

Packers wide receiver Davante Adams is king in the NFC north. However, there could be debate about wide receiver two. Wideout Allen Robinson had one less touchdown and 200 fewer receiving yards than Justin Jefferson. However, Robinson had a lot more receptions.

Here is the factor that makes me choose Jefferson. If you give Jefferson the same amount of targets that Robinson did, he blows him out of the water in every significant category. Same boat with Adam Theilen, outside of touchdowns.

Slot Receiver: Anthony Miller

Backup: Amon Ra St. Brown

I know what everyone is thinking. Why don’t you move Jefferson to the slot for a better-rounded receiving core? My second rule was to stay true to everyone’s position, so I’ll only list pure slot receivers.

The problem here is that the Packers and the Vikings run their slot by committee. Both teams don’t have a primary player at the position. So, Bears slot receiver Anthony Miller wins the cake on this one. What about the backup? Well, Lions rookie Amon-Ra St.Brown figures to be the primary slot this season. He’ll be the only rookie on this list.

Tight End: T.J Hockenson

Backup: Robert Tonyan

There shouldn’t be any debate here. Viking’s tight end Irv Smith Jr failed to meet expectations after a solid rookie year, and Bears tight end Cole Kmet will get his first shot as a starter.

Looking at tight end T.J. Hockenson vs. Packers tight end Robert Tonyan, touchdowns are the only category Tonyan can hold over Hockenson’s head. Hockenson also fairs better as a blocker.