Originally written on The Detroit Sports Site  |  Last updated 8/6/13
With training camp underway for the Detroit Lions and the preseason approaching, we’re putting some positional battles under the microscope with a series of Toss-ups … Training Camp Toss-up No. 3: A lot is being made out of how good Ryan Broyles is playing in camp, will he be the no. 2 receiver to start the season? Max DeMara: Heading into 2013, Broyles has to be the number two, at least in terms of sheer ability. In camp, he’s looked smooth on his feet and Matthew Stafford has thrown his way many times, making him look almost like a new security blanket. Nate Burleson can be a quality three capable of playing up to a two if injury intervenes, but given his youth, expect Broyles to play obvious second fiddle to Calvin Johnson this fall. Players like Kris Durham, Mike Thomas and Edwards all are capable of solid bit-part roles. Everyone might not make the roster, but given Durham’s size and his relationship with Matthew Stafford and how much Edwards has been used in a variety of roles in camp, Thomas could eventually become the odd man out here. Chris Burke: If I were to guess my five Lions receivers for the start of the regular season, the list would be: Johnson, Burleson, Broyles, Edwards and Durham … in that order. Broyles may ascend to the No. 2 role eventually, but my guess is that both he and Burleson are on the field together a lot, with one wide and one in the slot. Edwards has been a standout in camp, and he is more talented than anyone on the roster below those top three. Durham’s size sets him apart, so, I think Thomas is the odd man out here.  Andrew Tomlinson: I think Broyles is easily going to be the slot receiver, especially coming off of that knee. Burleson is a huge leader on this team and he does his best work on the outside. I would not count out Thomas though as a possibility to challenge Broyles for the slot. Broyles is coming off of two major knee injuries and seems to figure in largely to the Lions’ plans going forward and they may want to protect him. I think the receivers will be Johnson, Burleson, Broyles, Thomas and Edwards entering the season with Thomas’ pure speed giving him the edge to make the roster.  
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