6 most intriguing position battles for the Detroit Lions in 2024

As OTAs continue and looking ahead to training camp, here are the most intriguing position battles for the Detroit Lions.
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Once again, the Detroit Lions seem to have near total attendance at OTAs this year. No urgent contract drama, just some unspecified player absences last week due to personal reasons.

So the coaching staff, for whatever it's worth with no pads on, can get a look at everyone who's competing for a job right now with few exceptions.

If you were to project a 53-man roster for the Lions right now, you'd probably end up with 40-45 of them being right come the end of August. Starting jobs/roles might be a different conversation at some spots, and injuries can of course change the equation, but the majority of Detroit's roster going into the season can be etched in stone right now, in late-May.

That said, let's take a look at the most intriguing position battles for the Lions this year.

6 most intriguing position battles for the Detroit Lions in 2024

6. No. 3 TE

Sam LaPorta and Brock Wright are locked into the top two spots on the tight end depth chart for the Lions. But as interesting as a battle to be a team's No. 3 tight end can be, the Lions do have one with some intrigue.

James Mitchell has mostly been a non-entity through two NFL seasons, but he still has latent potential that makes him interesting. Shane Zylstra seems to be someone the coaching staff really likes, while Parker Hesse and Sean McKeown are recent veteran additions who could be interesting as the summer goes on.

5. Kickoff Returner

The league's new kickoff rules will make for more returns, and it's fair to say the Lions haven't gotten much from their kickoff returners lately.

Running back Craig Reynolds and cornerback Khalil Dorsey mostly handled the duties last year, but with the switch to something similar to what the XFL does on kickoffs makes former USFL kick returner star Maurice Alexander an intriguing option. Rookie running back/safety Sione Vaki could get some chances in camp or preseason games too.

It truly should be a wide open competition for who will be the Lions' primary kickoff returner going into the season over the rest of OTAs, training camp and preseason games, with all realistic options considered and the job being constantly subject to change.