From time to time during training camp and the regular season Tim Twentyman will answer 10 good questions from his Twitter account @ttwentyman in a feature we call "10 Questions with Twentyman."
20man: Well, training camp is less than a week old for one. Two, it's not uncommon for offensive linemen to be a bit behind early on in camp. This is the first time they've had pads on in seven months, and pad level typically is a bit too high with those guys to start.
Offensive line play was obviously a huge area of concern heading into camp, so the fact they've had some struggles early on doesn't give anyone warm and fuzzy feelings inside.
The defensive line was the better of the two units in one-on-one drills the first two padded practices, but I didn't have the disparity between the two as great as some other outlets.
Taylor Decker is a rookie. It's going to take some time for him. Riley Reiff has never played the right side in the NFL. All of the lineman are learning a new scheme and new set of techniques from offensive line coach Ron Prince, who took over midseason last year.
Hold off losing sleep for now, Eric. You have my permission to start getting a little more concerned if the unit is dominated next week in the practices with the Steelers, or we don't see improvement by preseason Game 3.
20man: I think you have some people in Allen Park genuinely excited about the prospects of this receiver corps after the signing of Boldin. Count me as one of them.
Look, Calvin is irreplaceable. He's a once-in-a-decade player. But that being said, I like what I've seen from Tate, Jones and Boldin early on. They catch everything thrown their way. Tate and Jones, especially, are very good run after the catch receivers. Boldin brings a toughness they haven't had in a long time at that spot.
No one on the roster can go up and get a football like Megatron could. They're probably not as dominant in the red zone without Johnson, either.
But this is a group that brings their own abilities to the table that defenses are going to have to prepare for.
Throw Eric Ebron, Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah into the mix, and I think the Lions will be just fine from a pass catching standpoint.
If they can then run the football more consistently on top of all that, it has the potential to be a more efficient offense.
20man: I have to say Decker for the rookies by default. He's most likely headed into the season as the starter at left tackle. There's going to be some good from him and some bad at times, but there's not a position on the field that can have as much impact – both positively or negatively – than the blindside tackle.
I'm split between Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin for the free agent with the most impact. Both are going to play key roles. Boldin actually ranked in the Top 17 in the NFL last season with 10 plays of 25-plus yards. But in this offense, I'd expect Jones to get more opportunities down the field playing on the outside.
Boldin catches everything thrown to him. He's going to work a lot in the slot and the middle of the field. Expect him to be a security blanket for Matthew Stafford.
Jones has already shown in camp that he can track the deep ball with the best of them. He's going to get those opportunities down the field. He's already showing he has a complete game from a short, intermediate and deep route running perspective.
@ttwentyman What rookies do you think have a chance at winning a starting position? #TenQuestions — K (@KarlAlden) August 3, 2016
20man: The top candidates are Decker, A'Shawn Robinson, Graham Glasgow, Antwione Williams and Jimmy Landes.
The two from that group with the best chance are Decker (left tackle) and Landes (long snapper).
I've really been impressed with the way Tyrunn Walker has looked early on in camp. I think he and Haloti Ngata start at defensive tackle and Robinson is a key part of the rotation.
Glasgow has a shot to win the center job when it's all said and done, but he'll have to leapfrog two veterans – Travis Swanson and Gabe Ikard. It can certainly be done, but he's not there yet.
Kyle Van Noy, Jon Bostic and Josh Bynes are ahead of Williams right now at linebacker. I'd expect him to start out being a key player on special teams.
The team will have to make a decision on Landes or Don Muhlbach by the end of camp. If all things are equal after the preseason games, youth probably wins out. But it has to be even.
20man: Define significant role. If we're talking possibly impactful special teamer and change-of-pace runner, then I think he can.
Right now, I have the top three at running back as: Abdullah, Riddick and Stevan Ridley. Ridley has a similar skillset to Zenner. He's a good between-the-tackles runner with power, but the difference is that he's already proven he can be a big-time performer in this league.
I'd put Zenner fourth right now, but George Winn and rookie running back Dwayne Washington are still nipping at his heels.
It's really going to come down to the preseason for that fourth spot. Zenner is smart and runs with great balance, vision and power. I think that ultimately wins him the job, but there's a long way to go.
If he wins the fourth running back job, expect his role to initially be greater on special teams.
20man: Long way to go yet for this, Tim.
Just based on reps and very early play, I'd say Darius Slay, Nevin Lawson and Quandre Diggs (nickel) are the starters.
Alex Carter is being cross-trained both inside and outside. He has a lot of time to make up after losing his entire rookie season to injury, but he shows flashes here and there. I expect him to hold down one of those reserve spots.
I'd put Crezdon Butler as the favorite to be the fifth guy early on. He has size, knows the scheme and made some plays for this defense last year (See Green Bay game at Lambeau).
But, like I said, this is far from settled.
20man: He looks like a rookie. He has good reps and bad reps. He's still figuring it out, but he's got a lot of terrific veterans along that line to look up to, and they're helping him out.
Devin Taylor had 4.5 sacks over the team's last six games last season, and heads into the year as the starter opposite Ziggy Ansah after recording seven total sacks as a backup in 2015. I like Taylor's length and speed. He's really added a nice repertoire of pass-rushing moves over the last couple seasons. He could be a double-digit sack player in his fourth season.
Wallace Gilberry has made a mark early in camp. He can play outside and inside, and could be a factor in sub packages. I also think Quanterus Smith has had a nice start to camp.
20man: Stafford was third in the NFL last season with 2,402 yards coming after the catch.
Just look who he's throwing to and it's hard to think he won't be near the top of that category again in 2016.
Both Theo Riddick (645) and Golden Tate (547) ranked in the Top 8 last year in yards after the catch. Marvin Jones has that in his repertoire as well.
Ebron is a definite run-after-the-catch threat from the tight end position. He's one of the fastest tight ends in the league, and showed remarkable improvement from year one to year two. I'd expect that trend to continue.
Abdullah can also make defenders miss in the open field as a pass catcher out of the backfield.
All Stafford has to do is get these players the ball in a position where they can make a play after the catch.
20man: Stafford thought so when I asked him earlier this offseason.
That was before the signing of Boldin, however, which seems to have knocked Jones down a peg on the depth chart.
Still, Jones made some big catches down the stretch last season and he's performing well in training camp thus far. I have Jones as the fourth receiver right now. He, along with Tate, Jeremy Kerley, Andre Roberts and Abdullah are competing for the punt return job. If Jones wins it, he can certainly make an impact there, too.
I like Jones. I think when given his opportunities this year, he'll perform. I'm just not sure how many balls there will be to go around with Tate, Marvin Jones, Boldin, Ebron, Riddick, and Abdullah all needing the rock as well.
20man: It's really going to come down to a numbers game getting to the initial 53-man roster.
I have Tate, Marvin Jones, Boldin and TJ Jones as the top four. It's unclear what Boldin's signing means for Jeremy Kerley in the slot, but he's certainly in the mix too.
In Jim Caldwell's first season in Detroit (2014), they took six receivers into the regular season – Johnson, Tate, Jeremy Ross, Corey Fuller, Ryan Broyles and Kevin Ogletree.
Last year, the number was five – Johnson, Tate, Lance Moore, Corey Fuller and TJ Jones.
It really depends on the numbers at other spots and whether they view the sixth receiver as one of their best 53. That's hard to determine right now. Injuries can also play a factor in this with four preseason games still on the docket.
What could make it hard for Caldwell and Co. to keep only five is the fact that veteran Andre Caldwell and rookies Jay Lee and Quinshad Davis have been making plays this offseason and into camp. It's going to be a tough call. I can see it going either way right now.