Grading the Detroit Lions defensive starters.

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Jan 4, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Detroit Lions middle linebacker Tahir Whitehead (59) reacts to a defensive play against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter in the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Ashlee Palmer: I can’t say that Ashlee did anything spectacular this year. While I like Palmer and he did have a few nice plays this season, you can’t help but wonder when Kyle Van Noy is going to take over.

Grade: 12

Tahir Whitehead: I’ve got to say that I don’t think there is another guy on this team that I am more proud of. We already knew Tahir could play special teams after taking home the Lions special teams MVP last season. But who would have thought he could start at linebacker and play as well as he did? Whitehead finished 2nd in tackles and 3rd in interceptions for the Lions this season. He was thrown in the deep end and showed he’s a pretty good swimmer. I look forward to the future of this kid.