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10 QUESTIONS WITH TWENTYMAN: What position group is deepest heading into season?

Every week during 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: We haven't watched a full practice since the Lions broke camp just before final cuts, but everything I've heard on the D'Andre Swift front has been very positive. The fact that Swift was a full participant in practice to begin the week Wednesday was a great sign.

He missed a lot of camp with a groin injury, and there was some concern on if he'd be 100 percent ready for Week 1 about a week ago, but I think those concerns have subsided, and I expect Swift to be a big part of the offensive attack against the 49ers. I'm still sticking with my offseason prediction that Swift will finish the year second on the team in receptions, if he stays healthy.

20man: It will definitely be trial by fire for the Lions' rookie right tackle. Nick Bosa, Javon Kinlaw, Arik Armstead, Dee Ford and Co. can really be disruptive upfront. Bosa will line up on both sides at times, so Penei Sewell can expect to see one of the game's premier pass rushers at times.

I thought Sewell had an up-and-down preseason. There's some technique stuff that he needed to clean up, but I will say this, every coach and player I've talked to about Sewell say he's a quick learner and really fits the room. They said he'll learn from some early mistakes and be better for it.

Sewell is a rookie, and like all rookies, there will be some mistakes made, but the athletic ability and desire is there, and he should be a good tackle in this league for a long time. He'll certainly be one to watch Sunday, and I think he'll play fine.

20man: The most talented position group might be the offensive line, but it's not very deep after the starting five.

I'd say if we're talking about talent and depth, the defensive line jumps out to me, and I'm including the on-the-ball outside linebackers in that group as well.

Michael Brockers, Alim McNeill, Levi Onwuzurike, Nick Williams, Kevin Strong and John Penisini are a strong group along the interior. It's a deep group with some versatility. Onwuzurike has breakout star potential among the rookie class.

We know what we're going to get with Trey Flowers and Romeo Okwara on the edge, but I thought Julian Okwara, Austin Bryant and Charles Harris did some good things in training camp and in the preseason that give me some optimism they can provide some juice in a rotational role on the edge. I really like what the Lions have going on upfront on defense.

20man: Defensively, they have to contain the run. San Francisco wants to be physical and run the football, and that sets up all their run-pass options that are a staple of Kyle Shanahan's offense. If the 49ers are able to run the ball at will, it will be a long day for the Lions.

Offensively, they have to stay on schedule. First down is critical this week. Detroit can't get into long second and third-down situations where the 49ers' talented defensive front can pin their ears back and get after quarterback Jared Goff.

Contain the run the best they can. Stay on schedule on offense and drive the football. If Detroit does those two things they should be in the ball game until the end.

20man: Pass defense is a marriage of rush and cover, but I'm with you, the most important part of that equation is the rush. Romeo Okwara looks even better to me than last year, when he lead the team with 10.0 sacks. Flowers has been consistent over the years at around 7-to-8 sacks a season. Like I mentioned above, I also think Julian Okwara, Bryant and Harris can give them something on the edge as well.

The biggest difference in the pass rush, however, might be an ability to generate more pressure from inside. The Lions got only four sacks last year from the interior of their defense. I expect that number to drastically increase thanks to additions like Brockers, McNeill and Onwuzurike. There's some pass-rushing prowess there, and if they can be disruptive in the middle and play on the opponent's side of the line of scrimmage, it will change everything upfront for Detroit's defense.

20man: Tyrell Williams was definitely the most consistent of the bunch in camp, and he and Goff built a bit of a rapport. Kalif Raymond and Amon-Ra St. Brown will have early roles as well.

I was a little surprised the team kept seven receivers on the 53-man roster. I think that speaks a little bit about the uncertainty at the position. There's still a lot of question marks beyond Williams, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's a situation where the team goes with the hot hand week to week, much like offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn has talked about at running back.

20man: It will look a lot different than what you're used to with a base 3-4 scheme. Flowers and Romeo Okwara are expected to start on the edge. McNeill will start at nose tackle, Brockers will be a mainstay at defensive end, and Williams and Onwuzurike will work in early at defensive end, too.

There are still some question marks at linebacker, but veterans Jamie Collins Sr. and Alex Anzalone are expected to start inside.

Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye are your starters on the outside at cornerback. Tracy Walker and Will Harris will start at safety. Undrafted rookie cornerback AJ Parker has been trending as the starter at the nickel spot for a couple weeks now.

I really like the defensive line, and there's been some good play in the secondary at times in camp. Expect a much more aggressive approach under defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, bringing more pressure than we've been used to seeing the last few years. Overall, it should be a better unit than it was last season.

20man: I really like Glenn and the coaching staff he's assembled on that side of the ball. That's a great start. Like I've mentioned, I really like the defensive line and outside linebacker group. I still have some questions at linebacker, cornerback and safety.

We'll know pretty early where this defense stands with San Francisco, Green Bay and Baltimore on the schedule the first three weeks.

I'm at around a five on the 1-10 scale heading into the season.

20man: I think he solidified the No. 3 spot with a good finish to camp and the preseason. Like Jamaal Williams and Swift, Jefferson gives them something in the pass game and has some big-play potential. If he's going to be active on Sunday, he's got to have a special teams role.

I think he'll be in the mix in the backfield and if he makes plays when given the opportunity, he'll earn more looks. Still, expect most of the load to go to Swift and Williams, at least early on.

20man: Zane Gonzalez is on the practice squad and still competing, but I think it will be Austin Seibert on Sunday. Special teams coordinator Dave Fipp said Seibert has done a good job improving his mechanics since first entering the league. Fipp also said Seibert has a big leg and was good from 61 yards this week.

Place kicking will be something to watch early on this year. Lions fans have been pretty spoiled in that department the past few decades, but there's definitely some uncertainty heading into Week 1.

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