4. Kelvin Sheppard, Linebackers Coach
"Well, he’s earned that. He’s earned that,” Campbell said back in June. “He’s – I feel like Shep, the more we put on Shep, the more he answers the call. And he’s developing as a coach. We see growth – no different than the players, you want to see growth from your coaches. And so, (DC Aaron Glenn) AG and I talked and we felt like it was time to put more on him, especially this year."
"I think Shep is a young, promising coach. I think he can be a coordinator one day, and I think he can be a head coach one day. I think he’s got that type of potential, so the time is right (to give him more to do."
Sheppard started on his coaching journey as director of player development at LSU (his alma mater) in 2020, and he's in his third season on the Lions' staff. So he's a very young coach, but he brings the perspective and competitive fire of a former player to his role. The development of Jack Campbell and the improvement of Derrick Barnes this year, as well as the instant impact Malcolm Rodriguez had as a rookie last year, is a credit to him.
Similar to the next person on this list, Sheppard would be the top internal candidate to be promoted to a coordinator role if the Lions lose theirs to a head coaching gig (Aaron Glenn leaving his post as defensive coordinator in this case). But a new head coach somewhere could easily consider Sheppard for a defensive coordinator post, including Glenn himself if he were to make that jump.