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Lions must identify fourth DL starter

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Posted July 15, 2010 @ 2:02 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

The Lions spent the offseason upgrading their roster, but perhaps no other position saw a bigger bump than the defensive line with the additions of veterans, DE Kyle Vanden Bosch and DT Corey Williams, and the drafting of DT Ndamukong Suh. Those three are good bets to start. But what about the fourth spot? Left defensive end is an unknown right now because Cliff Avril has yet to emerge as an unquestioned starter. He flashed immense potential down the stretch of his rookie season but was less impressive last season with higher expectations. He's still the favorite the start, but he could face serious competition from Jason Hunter, who finished strong, and Jared DeVries. Hunter is not known as a pass rusher, per se, but he had a sack in each of the final three games of 2009. The Lions were so desperate for a pass rush last season they put LB Julian Peterson in a three-point stance several games, but the better talent along the rest of the line should make it easier for whoever wins the starting job.


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