Lions depth chart: Ashlee Palmer, Tahir Whitehead, Travis Lewis in competition to start for Detroit

USA TODAY Sports

With Justin Durant headed to Dallas, a trio of Lions linebackers -- Palmer, Whitehead and Lewis -- will compete for the starting outside linebacker job opposite DeAndre Levy.

The Detroit Lions lost linebacker Justin Durant in free agency on Tuesday, with him signing with the Dallas Cowboys once the Cowboys free up cap space. With Durant out of the picture in Detroit, the Lions will need to replace him at starting outside linebacker -- and it appears that it will be a three-way competition.

Tahir Whitehead, Travis Lewis and Ashlee Palmer will compete for the job, opposite DeAndre Levy, according to The Detroit News.

Both Whitehead and Lewis were selected by Detroit in the 2012 NFL Draft. Neither Lewis nor Whitehead were early-round selections, however, as the Lions used a fifth-round pick on Whitehead, and a seventh-round pick in Lewis.

Lewis and Whitehead combined for 13 tackles last season for the Lions.

Palmer appears to have the edge in the starting job. Just last week, Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz had high praise for him, according to the Detroit Free Press. Palmer started two games for Detroit last season, and played well for the Lions. In 16 games, Palmer recorded 24 tackles and forced two fumbles. Palmer appeared mostly on special teams, but did play well when he was on defense, too.

The trio of linebackers will compete for the starting job in camp -- but as of now, it appears that the experienced Palmer has the edge to start opposite Levy.

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