Predicting the Lions Starting 22: Pre-Training Camp Edition

Austin BrinesContributor IIJuly 30, 2011

ALLEN PARK, MI - JULY 30: Aaron Brown #21 and Mikel Leshoure #25 go through the morning drills druing the Lions training camp on July 30, 2011 in Allen Park, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

With the season fast approaching and free agency starting to die down, most teams have a sense of what their roster will look like on opening day. In this article, I will predict what the Lions starting lineups will look like against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

This season finally looks to have some promise for the lowly Lions. A strong core has been built and they are a couple good signings away from a probable playoff berth. So, without further ado, here's my predictions for the Lions starting lineups:

QB: Matthew Stafford - No-brainer here, barring a preseason injury, he will be the starter.

RB: Javhid Best - He is the starter only because Mikel Leshoure is a rookie. Within a few games, Mikel will be starting.

FB: Jerome Felton - Only viable option.

WR1: Calvin Johnson - One of the best receivers in the game.

WR2: Nate Burleson - Burleson will move to the slot within a few weeks, but at the start, he will be starting.

TE: Brandon Pettigrew - A very promising tight end. Needs to cut down on drops.

LT: Jeff Backus - Hopefully, his pec injury will heal in time to start...If not, trouble will ensue for the lions.

LG: Rob Sims - Has been a steady force on the O-line and a great find for Mayhew.

C: Domonic Raiola - A bit undersized, but has been a mainstay of the Lions, for better or worse.

RG: Stephen Peterman - A bit banged up last year, but has the potential to be a great run blocker.

RT: Gosder Cherilus - Still growing as a player, hopefully he is fully healed.

LE: Cliff Avril - Will re-sign with the Lions soon I believe, will have another breakout year.

DT: Ndamukong Suh - .....Pretty obvious.

DT: Corey Williams - Will start over Fairley for most of the year. Hopefully, he can control his offsides.

RE: Lawrence Jackson - Will beat out KVB, KVB will still play a lot, but Lo-Jack will get the start.

OLB: Justin Durant - A star run stopper, but only a two-down linebacker.

MLB: Nick Barnett - I believe he will soon sign with the Lions and be a good veteran presence.

OLB: Deandre Levy - Will make the move to outside and will be solid.

CB: Eric Wright - Had a bad year last year, but was very good the past two years.

CB: Chris Houston - I believe he will re-sign and improve slightly over last year.

SS: Louis Delmas - Delmas is the captain of the secondary and must have a great year.

FS: Amari Spievey - Will beat out Erik Coleman and hopefully improve over last year.