Key losses: Devin Taylor, Wallace Gilberry
Making cut: Ansah, Hyder, Washington
On bubble: Bryant, Zettel, Copeland, O’Connor, Barrett, Valoaga
Best competition: Who starts opposite Ansah?
Lions head coach Jim Caldwell joked this offseason that his defensive line rotation is comparable to the frequency of line changes in hockey. Caldwell was trying to make the point that the Lions run a lot of defensive linemen in and out of the game. In fact, the Lions had nine defensive linemen play at least 200 snaps last season, and 11 that played at least 100.
With how frequently the Lions rotate linemen, it probably doesn’t matter all that much who starts. However being the starter means that player has risen to the top in camp and there’s a certain level of expectations now placed on his shoulders.
Hyder started only two games last season, but lead the team with eight sacks. He has a motor that never quits, which is part of the reason why he was so successful a year ago.
Washington comes over from Chicago, and could find an immediate role as a starter on the outside with the ability to shift inside on third down and give the Lions some pass-rushing prowess from the interior.
Bryant showed terrific promise in the five games he played for the Lions outside of a suspension and being placed on IR late in the year with a knee injury.
Zettel carved out a role as a rotational player as a rookie. Players typically make their biggest jump forward in development heading into…
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