Cliff Avril reported to camp with plenty of time to spare, and there is little reason to believe he won't build on his success from last year, as he does every year, despite a slow preseason.
Corey Williams may be one of the better-paid players on the defensive line, but he's also one of the better players, period.
His contract is finished after this season, and it seems unlikely that the Lions will retain him, but that's all the more reason for him to play hard this season.
Ndamukong Suh has had a blessedly quiet offseason and now returns to prove that he is more like he was in 2010 than in 2011.
We didn't get much evidence of how Detroit plans to move him around the formation in 2012 from the preseason, but it's not surprising that the Lions don't want to tip their hand.
The important thing is that Suh is still in great shape and still seems ready to play.
Kyle Vanden Bosch
Kyle Vanden Bosch might be looking at a steep cut in playing time this season. He has had a difficult time staying healthy, and his absence has given rise to an emerging Willie Young.
Young has spent the preseason making plays in every conceivable way, and it is beginning to look as though he might be more worthy of a starting role than even a healthy Vanden Bosch.
Willie Young is, as just mentioned, coming on strong this year and looks to be an emerging superstar. He makes big plays and rushes the passer in a scheme that values that above all other defensive skills.
The only thing left for him to prove is whether he can keep up his production with a starter's percentage of snaps each game. If he can, he's a Pro Bowl lock.
Lawrence Jackson is a solid, versatile end who plays the run better than most ends in this scheme. He has gotten lost in some of Young's hype this preseason, but Jackson is perfectly effective, if a bit less explosive than other ends.
Nick Fairley made headlines for all the wrong reasons this offseason, and he hasn't done too much on the field to dispel his issues so far.
It's only preseason, but anyone looking for him to play with extra intensity to shake off his offseason problems was disappointed.
Maybe he's saving it for the regular season.
Sammie Hill gets lost when we talk about Lions defensive tackles, but he was the first DT taken by Jim Schwartz and has turned out to be arguably the best in terms of return on investment.
He's a solid rotational player who could likely start on some teams—this as a fourth-round pick from relatively unknown Stillman College.
Ronnell Lewis will definitely need more time to adjust to his new position, as he transitions from 3-4 rush linebacker to 4-3 end. The transition to keeping your hand in the dirt is tough, and Lewis isn't likely to contribute on defense for some time.
Luckily, he's valuable on special teams, which is really the only place we'll see him this year.