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Jets vs. Lions: Five Questions With Pride of Detroit

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

To get ready for tonight's game, Sean from SB Nation's Pride Of Detroit answered five questions about the Lions.

1. Is any word on how long the Lions will play their starters?

Based on what they did last year, I wouldn't expect the Lions' veteran starters to play more than 1-2 series. Matthew Stafford will probably only be out there for the opening drive, for example, and the rest of the starters will likely follow him to the bench pretty shortly after that.

2. What are the position groups where the Lions have the best second teamers?

I'd have to go with linebacker and safety. Linebacker is probably the deepest position on the Lions' entire roster with a solid starting trio of Tahir Whitehead, DeAndre Levy and Stephen Tulloch and backups like Kyle Van Noy, Travis Lewis and Josh Bynes. Especially with how much the Lions are in the nickel and only have two linebackers on the field as a result, they can roll out quite a few capable backups.

At safety, meanwhile, backups Isa Abdul-Quddus and Don Carey have seen quite a bit of playing time in the past, and Abdul-Quddus is probably good enough to start on a lot of teams. He could get starting-caliber playing time as the nickelback in certain situations, but he's generally limited to a backup role on defense.

3. Which players are stepping up in training camp?

On offense, there has been a lot of talk about how second-year tight end Eric Ebron is finally starting to figure things out. He had a pretty disappointing rookie season and drew the ire of a lot of fans after being the 10th overall pick, but he's expected to take on a much bigger role this year. The hope is he will emerge as the Lions' third receiving option behind Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, and based on the early returns in camp, so far, so good.

On defense, Caraun Reid has really stood out at defensive tackle. He didn't receive much playing time as a rookie last year after being a fifth-round pick out of Princeton, but with the Lions' entire top four at DT departing this offseason, he's in position to potentially start. He spent some time working out with former teammate Ndamukong Suh this offseason, and it seems to have paid off so far.

4. Which third day pick or picks have you most intrigued?

Fifth-round pick Michael Burton and sixth-round pick Quandre Diggs have both been pretty intriguing players so far. Burton is a fullback, and the Lions seem to have big plans for him as a lead blocker and especially a receiver out of the backfield. He's expected to be a Day 1 starter as a rookie. Diggs could also potentially start from Day 1 given the amount of reps he's gotten at nickelback. It's not common for sixth-round cornerbacks to make a big, positive impact as rookies, but the Lions really seem to like Diggs.

5. What position battles are you watching?

The top three that come to mind are No. 3 wide receiver, starting left guard and who will get to start alongside Haloti Ngata at defensive tackle. At WR, we know that Johnson and Tate are the top two players, but several guys are looking to occupy the No. 3 role. Sticking on offense, the Lions have a battle between veteran Manny Ramirez and first-round pick Laken Tomlinson for the starting left guard job. Everybody expects Tomlinson to eventually win that battle, but he has to earn it on the field. Finally, at defensive tackle, Ngata won't play this week, giving Reid and Tyrunn Walker a big opportunity to make their case for the second starting DT job.