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Top 5 Position Battles in Detroit Lions’ 2014 Training Camp

The Top 5 Position Battles To Watch In Detroit Lions Training Camp

Jim Caldwell Lions
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Competition is a great thing to see at any NFL training camp. While the Detroit Lions are set at several positions, some key position battles will develop during training camp. Under new coach Jim Caldwell nothing is a given, especially for even the veteran players. Here now are the five top position battles to follow during training camp.

5. Kicker

Nate Freese Boston College
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5. Kicker

Nate Freese Boston College
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Nate Freese vs. Giorgio Tavecchio

Nate Freese, a seventh-round draft pick, will compete with Giorgio Tavecchio for the job. Freese doesn’t necessarily have the edge right now even though he was consistent at Boston College. Tavecchio was in training camp with the Packers a year ago and nearly won the starting job from Mason Crosby. They’ll push each other at camp, but the preseason will determine who wins.

4. Right Tackle

Corey Hilliard Lions
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4. Right Tackle

Corey Hilliard Lions
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LaAdrian Waddle vs. Corey Hilliard

A year ago at camp, Corey Hilliard and undrafted rookie LaAdrian Waddle battled it out for the start. Hilliard won but was injured in the first game which opened the door for Waddle who played amazingly well. This is a tight battle once again this year. Last year in camp, both alternated time with the starters and the same is to be expected in this year's training camp.

3. Defensive End

Jason Jones Lions
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3. Defensive End

Jason Jones Lions
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Jason Jones vs. Devin Taylor

Ezekiel Ansah is entrenched as one starter at defensive end, but the other side is a question mark. The two top players competing for that job will be Jason Jones and Devin Taylor. Jones is coming off a major knee injury last year, but his ability to play inside and outside gives the Lions the versatility to do different things. Taylor was raw last year, but he steadily improved, making two starts.

2. Slot Receiver

Ryan Broyles Lions
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2. Slot Receiver

Ryan Broyles Lions
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Ryan Broyles vs. Kris Durham

With the arrival of Golden Tate, the Lions have two good starting receivers, but at slot receiver, the same can't be said. The two who are the main competitors will be Ryan Broyles and Kris Durham. Broyles has been injury-prone in each of his first two seasons. Durham, on the other hand, had trouble catching the ball last year and was a non-factor.

1. Cornerback

Darius Slay Lions
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1. Cornerback

Darius Slay Lions
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Darius Slay vs. Rashean Mathis vs. Bill Bentley

The Lions have plenty of corners (10) in camp, but not many of them are true starters. Darius Slay and Rashean Mathis are the favorites to start, but Bill Bentley still has a chance to earn a starting role, especially when teams start with three receivers on the field. Rounding out the rotation will be rookie Nevin Lawson, Jonte Green and Cassius Vaughn among a cast of many.

Brian Kalchik is a Detroit Lions writer for rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook, and connect with him on Google.