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Again there should be several candidates here with all the young talent. Nick Fairley will certainly have a claim to this honor as well, but I'm not allowing duplicate winners.
Tight end Brandon Pettigrew is hopefully in the mix. His 2012 was marred by injuries and a lack of concentration that drove Lions fans crazy. The physical talent is still present, and if Pettigrew can stay healthy and regain his confidence, he could put up significantly better numbers.
Offensive lineman Dylan Gandy has been very solid in training camp and preseason. He hasn't played much, getting on the field for just one solitary snap a year ago.
This year Gandy looks like he will begin the season as the starting right guard. Gandy could also see action at center, where he has outplayed fading veteran Dominic Raiola in the first two preseason games.
Fellow lineman Riley Reiff is expected to make a leap forward as well. The 2012 first round pick is transitioning from role player, primarily as an extra right tackle, to starting left tackle.
Defensive end Willie Young was my prediction for this honor a year ago. That pick bombed as Young instead turned into my biggest disappointment this side of Titus Young. Willie Young still has the potential, and he has been fantastic in the preseason thus far.
It would be great if linebacker DeAndre Levy steps up and merits inclusion on this list. If his cover skills show improvement and he makes more downhill plays against the run, the 4th year veteran has a legit shot at this award.
Fellow outside linebacker Ashlee Palmer's arrow is pointing upward as well, though he's a more limited talent than Levy.
WINNER: DeAndre Levy