There’s some very interesting battles that have played out already, and the team has provided some hints about where things could be going in the future by spilling the beans on where some folks stand as of now.
What are the most juicy elements so far from the depth chart? Here’s a look at some of the first observations.
Devin Funchess Behind Garrett Griffin at Tight End
The Lions already figured to have one blocking tight end in Brock Wright, but it seems the team could be looking at keeping power around in the form of Garrett Griffin.
Griffin, known more for his abilities in the trenches than his hands, is ahead of Devin Funchess on the first depth chart. That’s in spite of all Funchess offers as a pass catcher to the offense, and especially in spite of some plays he’s already made in camp.
Funchess may have to have a big preseason to pull out a role as a third tight end for the Lions if this first chart is to be believed.
Chris Board Rates as Top Linebacker
Perhaps surprisingly, the Lions have seen Chris Board step up immediately in camp enough to run with the first-team at linebacker.
Board came to Detroit light on starting experience, but high on special teams ability given that’s where he starred with Baltimore. It seems that he has been able to impress the staff enough to get in the mix for a top dog role.
This is a major step for Board’s career, and it will be interesting to see if he’s a starter by the time Week 1 rolls around.
Will Harris Ahead of Jeff Okudah at Cornerback
Perhaps this shouldn’t be so much of a surprise, given Dan Campbell hinted to this a week ago. It’s still interesting to see it in black and white on the first unofficial depth chart.
Will Harris doesn’t have much experience at cornerback given the fact he switched to the position late last year. Perhaps this is only temporary until Jeff Okudah regains his footing off injury and continues to get stronger. Nevertheless, it’s eye opening to see a former third-overall pick supplanted for a top cornerback spot by a converted safety.
Jermar Jefferson Buried at Running Back
Detroit has a loaded running back room, but Jermar Jefferson seemed to be a player on the rise given the hype he received from Campbell recently. Instead, he finds himself behind Craig Reynolds and Godwin Igwebuike.
Jefferson seems to have the right blend for the Lions at running back, but it appears with his standing, he will have to find a way to prove it during the preseason. It doesn’t mean Jefferson won’t make the team, but there could be obstacles to him seeing the field consistently.
Tim Boyle Over David Blough at Quarterback
The Detroit staff seems to love Tim Boyle, so this is probably not a complete surprise either. Still, it felt as if David Blough was slightly ahead in training camp before the preseason.
Boyle figures to get lots of run in the preseason, and has more starter experience to rely on to help boost him. Still, Blough will be coming for the job and has proven to have moxie before.
This will be a fascinating battle to see who comes out ahead in the end, but for now, it could be a bit of a surprise that Boyle is ahead given his uneven finish to the year.
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