5 Detroit Lions Starters Who Will Struggle in 2014

5 Detroit Lions Starters Who Will Struggle in 2014

Reily Reiff
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions have worked hard to fill all their needs this offseason, yet there are still question marks that exist on their roster. Here are five starters who will struggle in the 2014 season.

5. Kyle Van Noy

Kyle Van Noy
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

5. Kyle Van Noy

Kyle Van Noy
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Van Noy is a very talented player who is the odds-on favorite to start for the Lions at outside linebacker on the strong side. However, his greatest asset right now is rushing the passer, but he may struggle adjusting to playing in coverage against NFL backs and tight ends. He is a player with great upside who will simply have some growing pains in 2014.

4. Jason Jones

Jason Jones
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

4. Jason Jones

Jason Jones
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Jones is being penciled in as the starter at the left defensive end spot, but after missing nearly the entire 2013 season due to injury, counting on Jones may be perilous. He can be solid against the run as a defensive end and has some interior pass rush skills, but he hasn't been a full-time starter since 2011 so he will struggle to hold up.

3. James Ihedibgo

James Ihedibgo
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

3. James Ihedibgo

James Ihedibgo
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

James Ihedibgo had a solid season last year for Baltimore, starting 16 games at safety, notching three interceptions and 63 solo tackles. However, Ihedibgo is better suited to be a third safety, so even though he put up impressive numbers last season, he is nothing more than an average player who is vulnerable is pass coverage.

2. Chris Houston

Chris Houston
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

2. Chris Houston

Chris Houston
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Houston has never been anything more than an average starting corner, and last season he did not even play up to that standard. To make things worse, he is still suffering from a lingering toe injury that hampered him in 2013, so unless he gets completely healthy, expect his struggles to continue in 2014.

1. Riley Reiff

Riley Reiff
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

1. Riley Reiff

Riley Reiff
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

It's not that Riley Reiff isn't a good player; he is just better suited to right tackle instead of left. His lack of athleticism hurts him against top pass rushers and he will struggle to keep them off quarterback Matt Stafford. That being said, the Lions could do much worse than Reiff, who is at least capable. He will just never be anything more than average at left tackle.


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