Lions final 53-man roster prediction

The final Detroit Lions preseason game is in the books. With the Saturday cuts quickly approaching, let’s take a look at one last prediction of how the final 53-man will turn out.

Quarterbacks (2)

IN:

  • Matthew Stafford
  • Jake Rudock

OUT:

  • Brad Kaaya

Summary: Rudock has been one of the stories of the preseason so far. Accuracy, decision making and possibly even improved arm strength have been on display. Kaaya, on the other hand, has looked like a rookie–what a surprise.

The Lions should be able to stash Kaaya on the practice squad without getting picked up.

Running Backs (4)

IN:

  • Ameer Abdullah
  • Theo Riddick
  • Zach Zenner
  • Dwayne Washington

OUT:

  • Matt Asiata
  • Tion Green

Summary: There is a possibility that the Lions would keep five running backs. I feel it is unnecessary as the fifth RB is usually inactive and Asiata-type backs can be found on the free agency market mid-season.

 

Wide Receivers (5)

IN:

  • Golden Tate
  • Marvin Jones
  • TJ Jones
  • Kenny Golladay
  • Jared Abbrederis

OUT:

  • Jace Billingsley
  • Dez Stewart
  • Dontez Ford
  • Michael Rector
  • Noel Thomas

Summary: The top four receivers are locked in. TJ Jones handled a majority of the WR3 duties and is in the running for the return job.

The question will be who wins the fifth spot if the Lions decide to go that route. It’s a coin flip between Abbrederis and Billingsley. I believe Abbrederis is more than just a gadget player and is a better all-around receiver.

Tight Ends (4)

IN:

  • Eric Ebron
  • Darren Fells
  • Michael Roberts
  • Cole Wick

OUT:

  • Khari Lee
  • Scott Orndoff
  • Robert Tonyan

Summary: With the projection of the Lions only keeping four running backs, their penchant for two tight end sets and the need for a pseudo fullback will lead them to keep another tight end.

Wick lined up at the fullback spot multiple times in practice and his injury he sustained last week does not appear to be overly serious.

Offensive line (9)

IN:

  • OT Greg Robinson
  • OT Rick Wagner
  • OT Cornelius Lucas
  • OT Storm Norton
  • OG T.J. Lang
  • OG Graham Glasgow
  • OG Joe Dahl
  • C Leo Koloamatangi
  • C Travis Swanson

OUT:

  • OT Taylor Decker (PUP)
  • OT Corey Robinson (PUP)
  • OT Nick Becton
  • OG Brandon Thomas
  • OG Connor Bozick

Summary: Much to my surprise, the Lions recently released OT Cyrus Kouandjio. You may remember me projecting him to win the interim left tackle job after we signed him.

With his release, that leaves Lucas and Norton as the reserves while Decker is out. Not exactly the best scenario if either are forced into action, but they can suffice.

Dahl can kick to the outside if necessary as well. My dark horse inside is Koloamatangi.

 

Defensive line (9)

IN:

  • DE Ezekiel Ansah
  • DE Cornelius Washington
  • DE Anthony Zettel
  • DE Pat O’Connor
  • DE Jeremiah Valoaga
  • DT A’Shawn Robinson
  • DT Haloti Ngata
  • DT Akeem Spence
  • DT Jeremiah Ledbetter

OUT:

  • DE Alex Barrett
  • DE Giorgio Newberry
  • DT Ego Ferguson
  • DT Caushaud Lyons
  • DT Derrick Lott
  • DT Khyri Thornton (Suspended)
  • DT Jordan Hill (IR)
  • DE Armonty Bryant (Suspended)
  • DE Kerry Hyder (IR)

Summary: Injuries and suspensions have somewhat derailed the defensive front. It’s the depth at the DE position that will be the biggest battles. O’Connor, Valoaga, and Barrett are probably playing for two spots.

Bryant played well enough last year and the Lions may be desperate enough to keep him aboard after his 4-week suspension. I have a strong feeling that Quinn will bring in another body via trade or roster casualty.

Linebackers (6)

IN:

  • Tahir Whitehead
  • Jarrad Davis
  • Paul Worrilow
  • Antwione Williams
  • Jalen Reeves-Maybin
  • Steve Longa

OUT:

  • Thurston Armbrister
  • Nick Bellore
  • Brandon Copeland (IR)

Summary: Longa has impressed on special teams and has proved to be a capable linebacker against inferior preseason competition.

 

Defensive backs (11)

IN:

  • CB Darius Slay
  • CB Nevin Lawson
  • CB Teez Tabor
  • CB DJ Hayden
  • CB Quandre Diggs
  • CB Jamal Agnew
  • CB Johnson Bademosi
  • S Glover Quin
  • S Tavon Wilson
  • S Miles Killebrew
  • S Charles Washington

OUT:

  • CB Tramain Jacobs
  • CB Adairius Barnes
  • CB Josh Thornton
  • S Don Carey
  • S Rolan Milligan
  • S Alex Carter

Summary: The Lions could go a lot of different ways here. Seven CBs seems excessive but each individual has an important role.

The wildcard at safety is the fourth spot. Washington has been the first to see playing time most of the preseason. With Quinn’s value that he places on special teams, Carey is still in the mix as well. The ex-corner Carter may have the most upside of the previously mentioned safeties though.

Special Teams (3)

IN:

  • K Matt Prater
  • P Sam Martin
  • LS Don Muhlbach

OUT:

  • P Kasey Redfern

Summary: Martin has always been expected to be ready by week 1. If that is still the case, the decision is easy.

Follow Lion Lowdown on Twitter @LionLowdown or Logan Lamorandier @LLamorandier

 

 

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