The 2016 NFL Scouting Combine kicked off this week in Indianapolis.
It's an important event for the Lions, and for the prospects in attendance.
According to many analysts, scouts and personnel staff, the defensive tackles are the headliners of this draft class.
"You could wait until the third or fourth round this year and get a defensive tackle that in past drafts was a first or second rounder," NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock said. "I mean, I've heard first-round grades on plus or minus 10 to 12 defensive tackles this year from various feeds."
There are also a number of interesting prospects across the line of scrimmage with the offensive tackles, including Auburn's Shon Coleman.
Coleman, who was diagnosed with leukemia six years ago, used football as his motivation to fight the disease.
"The whole time (football was on my mind)," Coleman said. "It was definitely motivation for me to get through the whole thing. Just trying to get back on the field was my whole motive."
Improving the offensive line is a big priority for the Lions this offseason, according to team president Rod Wood.
"We need to keep our quarterback protected and not on the ground," Wood said in an interview on 105.1 last week. "The offensive line is an area we're going to focus on."
One other position group that could interest the Lions this week are the quarterbacks. Matthew Stafford is set as the starter, but it could be a good time to draft a backup.
"I'm a big believer that most teams should draft a quarterback every other year," Mayock said. "I really am. Just to keep trying to look at different kids and seeing if you can upgrade that position. I'm talking about as a backup.
"So from Detroit's perspective, they've really got nobody right now behind Stafford."
BOB QUINN EVALUATES ROSTER
General manager Bob Quinn spent 15 minutes at the podium Wednesday answering questions about the current state of the Lions roster.
Not surprisingly, a big topic was wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Quinn confirmed there is no deadline for a Johnson decision.
"We had a good conversation," Quinn said. "He didn't tell me if he's leaning one way or the other. We're giving him time to make that decision."
Another player with a somewhat unknown status is Riley Reiff. Quinn said he sees Reiff on the 2016 offensive line, but isn't sure where on the line he'll be playing.
"We'll figure that out as it comes," Quinn said. "He's a versatile guy, he's played different positions in his college career and his pro career, so we'll look at everything depending on who else is on the team."
Quinn also touched on Eric Ebron, noting the improvement the third-year tight end has shown.
"Eric has a unique skillset," Quinn said. "He's really an explosive player. He has really good speed. He was a very productive player in college.
"I think he did show improvement from year one to two, which is really what you want to see from a player."
In honor of the Combine taking place this week, we took a look back at how future Lions rookies performed and what they had to say at the 2015 NFL Combine.
OTHER NOTEWORTHY ITEMS:
- Mock Draft Watch 2.0: See who the experts have the Lions picking with the 16th overall pick.
- With Rashean Mathis announcing his retirement, Tim Twentyman takes a look at some free-agent cornerbacks that could potentially interest the Lions.
- What position should the Lions target in free agency? Tim Twentyman covers that and more in his 10 Questions column.
- See what the NFC North head coaches are saying down at the Combine.
- Get an inside look into the gameday experience with the best of Ameer Abdullah mic'd up from the 2015 season.
- Read how missing the Combine won't hinder local DT prospect Justin Zimmer.