3 Detroit Lions who could easily lose snaps to a rookie this year

These three Lions players may have to fend of a rookie who'll have a chance to take their snaps this year.
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Not that it shouldn't always be the case, by the Detroit Lions have clearly operated a meritocracy under head coach Dan Campbell. There will be no favoritism for the size of a contract, draft status or what someone has done before. Earn it here and now or someone might take your playing time, and possibly your job/roster spot if that applies.

We've already taken a look at three Lions players who may lose their job to a rookie this year. The context here will be a little different, not looking at those who's roster spot may be in peril in favor of a rookie who makes a push during training camp and the preseason.

Instead, we'll now look at Lions players who could lose playing time (snaps) to a rookie who proves himself worthy. Again, it doesn't mean these players are in danger of being cut. Just that a role they seem to be in line for right now could be taken from them by a rookie. That notion will always be subject to change, based on injuries, etc., but these three Lions should be looking over their shoulder when training camp starts next month.

3 Detroit Lions who may lose snaps to a rookie this year

3. RB Craig Reynolds

Reynolds also made our list of Lions who could lose their job/roster spot to a rookie. But in concert with the shift in meaning here, and the idea he's a player who's well-liked and will be a difficult cut, there's a definite chance he loses snaps to rookie Sione Vaki.

The core reasoning in the new "losing snaps" context is pretty simple. Reynolds just doesn't have the sheer talent, and requisite upside, Vaki does.

Vaki hasn't played much running back, even if he did it pretty well in limited run last year at Utah, but the Lions view him as that first and foremost. That in itself might be a tell about Reynolds' vulnerable place in the pecking order.

Vaki is in line to be used on special teams, and in that vein he feels like an option to return kickoffs. Camp practices and/or preseason games offer a way to give him a try there.

Whoever the Lions' No. 3 running back is won't get a lot of run offensively unless there's an injury to either David Montgomery or Jahmyr Gibbs. But Vaki injects a raw talent level to the competition that didn't exist a year ago, and that makes Reynolds vulnerable to having a lesser role at some point.