From time to time this offseason Tim Twentyman will answer 10 good questions from his Twitter account @ttwentyman in a feature we call "10 Questions with Twentyman."
20man: Frank Ragnow, Kerryon Johnson, Tracy Walker and Da’Shawn Hand are all great candidates.
Of those, I’ll go with Johnson, just because I think he has a chance to really be a key component in Darrell Bevell’s offense. The Lions want to run the football, and Johnson is going to be the first guy up in that regard.
As a pass catcher, he is better than most give him credit for. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if that’s a big part of his game this year as well.
I think he’s going to be a featured weapon on offense, and has a chance to be a real sleeper in the fantasy football world.
20man: Diggs was the only DB in the NFL to finish the 2018 season with at least 75 tackles, three interceptions, three tackles for loss and a pick-six.
Since the 2017 season, he is one of two defensive backs in the NFL to total at least 130 tackles, eight tackles for loss, six interceptions and a pick-six.
Diggs was an alternate to the Pro Bowl last year, so he’s on the league’s radar. The Pro Bowl is mostly a popularity contest, as you all know, but Diggs can force the issue by collecting interceptions.
When Glover Quin made his one Pro Bowl in 2014, he led the league with seven interceptions. Diggs has terrific ball skills. If he gets his hands on the football and racks up the interceptions, he can make a Pro Bowl.
20man: I think there’s been a concerted effort to sign free agents and draft players that buy into a certain way of doing things that fits with coach Patricia and the culture he’s implementing.
There are no rumblings this season of discontent. The focus has been on football. There was an effort to add players with a “football first” mentality, and I think the organization has done a good job of that.
Practices run smoother and the players understand the expectations being placed on them.
20man: I like the collection of players here at the skill positions. I think it’s an under-the-radar group with sneaky-good potential. I mentioned Johnson above and the impact I believe he can have in year two.
Kenny Golladay was a 1,000-yard receiver in year two, and he could be in line for a big season in year three. What’s not to like about his skillset? Plus he’s all about working to get better.
Marvin Jones Jr. is a 1,000-yard receiver who could be a good fit with some of the play action and shots down the field the Lions want to take in the passing game under Bevell.
Danny Amendola is the perfect kind of quick-twitch receiver to play the slot in this system. He’s a crafty veteran who knows how to get open. He could see a lot of targets because of it.
It looks like the Lions have upgraded the tight end position, not just in the passing game, but also blocking on the edge.
In the end, when we talk about the skill positions, it comes down to quarterback Matthew Stafford. Stafford will be the first to admit he didn’t play well enough at times last season. If he picks up this offense and is able to distribute the ball around, it could be a pretty fun group of skill players to watch.
20man: That’s kind of tough when guys are running around in shorts, but I was really impressed with Amendola. The guy goes 110 percent all the time. He has a knack for finding the open space in the middle of the field, and separates from defenders pretty easily at the top of his route. He and Stafford made quite a few plays together this spring. I think Amendola had a really good spring.
20man: There are a number of interesting position battles ahead. Guard, cornerback and wide receiver are a few that come to mind right away. One that really interests me, however, is how things will shape up at running back behind Johnson.
C.J. Anderson is a proven vet. He provides them with some experience and power at the position.
Zach Zenner was great at the end of last season after adding muscle to his frame. He has to prove he can stay healthy. He’s versatile and can play special teams, which is a valuable skillset.
Riddick is a good pass catcher and pass protector, and is a proven player in both aspects over the years, though I did think he had a bit of a down year in 2018.
Ty Johnson is kind of the wild card here for me. His speed jumps out, no question. Can he catch the ball consistently? Can he pass protect? Does he earn a roster spot in the kick returner role? Can his breakaway speed earn him a rushing role? He’s the unknown in the group that could impact someone else’s roster spot.
20man: He has gotten bigger and stronger. He said he’s dropped his body fat count and gained 10 pounds of muscle. We can see it out on the practice field.
Dahl worked with the first-team offense at guard in minicamp, and will get his shot to compete, but I still believe it will be Graham Glasgow and Kenny Wiggins at guard to begin training camp.
20man: Tom Savage appears to be the guy. He easily outplayed Connor Cook in the spring and will have a leg up on David Fales, who the team recently signed.
Not to say it can’t happen, but I’d be a little surprised if the Lions signed a player cut in late August and handed him the backup role having no experience with the offense and no relationship built up with the starter.
20man: Looks that way. He’s been the one constant in the interior of the offensive line all spring. He was the best center coming out of college last season.
20man: I like the depth it adds the receiving corps. Kearse has 255 career receptions with 17 touchdowns. He’s been a big producer in a similar offense in the past. Amendola has 485 career receptions with 20 touchdowns. Jones has 285 receptions with 33 touchdowns. Pair that with Golladay, who is coming off a 1,000-yard season in his second year, and that’s a very productive top four.
All four players can line up at any receiver spot. It gives Bevell a lot of flexibility at the position. It will also promote a lot of competition in camp for the No. 4 and potentially No. 5 spots. I like the addition. I think it’s a natural fit.