Lions roster projection heading into training camp: Offense

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Detroit Lions training camp kicks off in less than two weeks. Footballs will be flying around the team’s practice facility in Allen Park with 90 players fighting for 53 final roster spots.

This is our first prediction on which players make the Lions roster after the final cutdowns.

To keep things more manageable, we’re splitting up the offense and the defensive projections, with the special teams sticking with the D. First up is the overhauled offense under new coordinator Anthony Lynn.

The projection here leaves the Lions with 25 offensive players, and that includes the return specialist and three quarterbacks.

Quarterback

Detroit Lions

Starter: Jared Goff Backup: Tim Boyle Bubble: David Blough Goff is the unquestioned starter. There will be competition for the No. 2 spot. Boyle's salary and the fact it came from the new regime gives him an automatic leg up, even if Blough did significantly outperform him in the OTAs and minicamp. Blough's status depends on if the Lions keep two or three QBs on the active roster. Based on the projections here, they do keep him on the active roster but that's just an early guess.

Running back

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Starter: D'Andre Swift Reserves: Jamaal Williams, Jason Cabinda (FB) Bubble: Jermar Jefferson, Michael Warren, Dedrick Mills Swift and Williams project to get nearly all the carries and also a considerable amount of passing targets. They are divergently skilled and comprise what should be a nice 1-2 punch. Cabinda, a converted linebacker, is a lock as the only fullback on the roster. Jefferson is a seventh-round rookie hoping to ensure he's the No. 3. The team has cut rookie draft picks higher than him lately, however. Warren and Mills are competing for that spot as well but more realistically for a practice squad spot. The Lions might not be done making moves here, either.

Wide receiver

Detroit Lions

Starters: Tyrell Williams, (not currently on roster), Amon-Ra St. Brown (slot) Reserves: Quintez Cephus, Kalif Raymond (as KR/PR), Javon McKinley Bubble: Breshad Perriman, Victor Bolden, Sage Surratt, Geronimo Allison, Tom Kennedy, Damion Ratley, Chad Hansen The radically overhauled unit is completely unsettled. The only players guaranteed roster spots are Williams and St. Brown. Raymond is the early front-runner for the return specialist gig and offers rare speed out of the slot. Expect at least one wideout not currently in Detroit to make the final 53-man roster, perhaps two of them. Players like Perriman, McKinley and Allison can win their way into significant playing time but just as easily be gone by the final preseason game.

Tight end

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Starter: T.J. Hockenson Reserves: Darren Fells, Alize Mack Bubble: Brock Wright, Charlie Taumoepeau, Hunter Thedford, Jake Hausmann Hockenson is the Lions' best receiving weapon and earned Pro Bowl status for his improved consistency and upgraded blocking. Fells is a monumental upgrade as the No. 2 over departed Jesse James, while Mack offers some playmaking potential as the third TE.

Offensive line

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Starters (L-R): Taylor Decker, Jonah Jackson, Frank Ragnow, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Penei Sewell Reserves: Tyrell Crosby, Matt Nelson, Tommy Kraemer, (not currently on roster) Bubble: Evan Brown, Dan Skipper, Logan Stenberg, Darrin Paulo, Drake Jackson, Evan Heim The starters are locked in place on what should be one of the NFL's best units. After that, it's deeply unsettled. Crosby and Nelson are both tackles only, or at least the prior Lions regime viewed them only as tackles. Nelson has been a personal, and largely successful, pet project of returning OL coach Hank Fraley and his spot is probably safer than Crosby, who lost his starting job to Sewell in the draft. Stenberg faces a stiff battle from Kraemer, an undrafted rookie from Notre Dame, and veteran journeyman Brown for the top interior reserve spots. Expect at least one experienced vet cut by another team to claim a spot here, especially if Stenberg continues to prove he cannot play center. Don't be surprised to see the Lions claim an interior lineman cut by special assistant John Dorsey's old team, the Cleveland Browns

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