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NFL 32 in 32: Detroit Lions

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Continuing our series of 32 teams in 32 days leading into Redskins training camp.

31. Detroit Lions

Coach: Jim Schwartz (first season)

Last year: 0-16

NFL rankings: The offense was 30th in yards and 27th in points; the defense was last in yards and points allowed.

Additions: RB Maurice Morris, LB Julian Peterson, CB Anthony Henry, WR Bryant Johnson, CB Phillip Buchanon, WR Ronald Curry, OL Jon Jansen, LB Larry Foote, QB Matthew Stafford, FS Louis Delmas and TE Brandon Pettigrew. The Lions could have as many as 10 new starters.

Substractions: CB Leigh Bodden, TE Dan Campbell, WR Mike Furrey, QB Dan Orlovsky, QB Jon Kitna and DE Cory Redding.

Overview: It obviously can’t get any worse for the Lions. But former Redskins defensive back Martin Mayhew’s first off-season as general manager was productive - the list of additions will certainly help what was a depleted roster and five picks in the first three rounds helps the depth chart. The biggest improvement will come defensively. Peterson and Foote are huge upgrades.

Fantasy pick: WR Calvin Johnson posted totals of 79 catches, 1,331 yards and 12 touchdowns last year. He figures to get that amount of work this year.

Projected starters

Offense: QB Matthew Stafford, FB Terrelle Smith, RB Kevin Smith, WR Calvin Johnson, WR Bryant Johnson, TE Brandon Pettigrew, LT Jeff Backus, LG Daniel Loper, C Dominic Raiola, RG Stephen Peterman and RT Gosder Cherilus.

Defense: LE Dewayne White, NT Grady Jackson, DT Chuck Darby, RE Clif Avril, SLB Julian Peterson, MLB Larry Foote, WLB Ernie Sims, CB Anthony Henry, CB Phillip Buchanon, SS Daniel Bullocks and FS Louis Delmas.

Specialists: K Jason Hanson, P Nick Harris, KR Aveion Cason, PR Derrick Williams.

Projected record: 3-13 (last in NFC North). No team wants to be the one that allows Detroit to break its losing streak, especially a team like the Redskins in Week 3. The Lions will start 0-6 before defeating St. Louis. Starting Stafford ahead of Daunte Culpepper would be the right decision because it’s not like Culpepper is any kind of miracle worker.

- Ryan O’Halloran

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Ryan O'Halloran

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