The game may be meaningless in terms of wins and losses, but the first time Matt Patricia hits the field as the coach of the Detroit Lions he will be facing an old (yet new) coach on the sidelines -- Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders. Yes, the countdown to the 2018 NFL season is on.

It all begins in LA

Yes, it is just a preseason clash, but with all the changes the Detroit Lions have made since Super Bowl 52 concluded, fans will surely be fired up to get an early peek at the new-look Lions.

According to a Freep report, Detroit will visit Oakland in Week 1 of the preseason to take on Jon Gruden and the Raiders.

Gruden, who will be on the sidelines for the first time since the 2008 season when he was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, left his Monday Night Football gig at ESPN to once again chase a Vince Lombardi Trophy.

In Week 2, the Lions will host the New York Giants and their new coach, Pat Shurmur. Shurmur, a Dearborn, Michigan native, and Michigan State University grad, interviewed for the Detroit Lions job last January.

The Lions will travel to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers in Week 3 before concluding the preseason campaign from Ford Field when they host the Cleveland Browns in an exhibition season finale.

While the dates aren't set for any of the preseason games as of yet, we do know that the Lions and Raiders will play sometime between August 1-12.

Week 2 against the New York Giants at Ford Field will be played between the 16th and19th.

NFL Network chimes in on Lions' draft

In other Detroit Lions news, are the Lions eyeing a Michigan Wolverines star in the upcoming NFL Draft? According to an Mlive report, Detroit's GM Bob Quinn says he has five or six players he's eyeing as realistic possibilities for the 20th overall pick.

Of course, he went on to say that he wouldn't tip his hand and indicate who the Lions are leaning toward selecting.

While Quinn would not tip his hand, a few NFL Network draft analysts expressed their opinions during a conference call on Wednesday with reporters. Many NFL gurus were predicting that the Lions could be leaning toward four particular players when they select their first-round pick.

UTEP guard Will Hernandez, Texas-San Antonio defensive end Marcus Davenport, Michigan Wolverines defensive tackle Maurice Hurst and LSU tailback Derrius Guice were all a consensus by the NFL Network's panel.

"Will Hernandez would be an interesting one," Daniel Jeremiah said. "I think he kind of fits the physical nature that they want to have there with that team, the guard from UTEP, I think he's outstanding. He would definitely be one I would put in the mix there."

On paper, the Lions couldn't go wrong with any of those selections. While the Lions signed running back LeGarrette Blount this offseason, drafting Guice could make an awesome 1-2 punch. Maurice Hurst would also look good in the Honolulu Blue and Silver as well.