Perhaps the most remarkable turnaround that has brought the Lions out of their previous decade of futility has been Martin Mayhew’s ability to infuse the entire roster with talent. Yes, the Lions have drafted top level talent as a result of high draft picks like Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh but as important as those players are to building a successful franchise, the truly successful teams achieve success over the long-haul as a result of a roster maximized with talent from one to 53.
As the Lions add more and more talent to the roster, some players that may have had a roster spot in the past could find themselves squeezed out when the final 53-man roster is announced for the 2012 season. Here are five such players:
The Lions claimed Keiland Williams off waivers a week before their 2011 season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The hope was that he could be utilized in a way they had initially planned for Mikel Leshoure with both players coming in around 6′ tall and 230 pounds. It didn’t play out that way – even when the Lions’ running back situation started reaching desperation status after losing Jahvid Best for the season due to a concussion. Rather than increasing Williams’ role the Lions went out and signed Kevin Smith and gave more playing time to Maurice Morris. With Leshoure back from injury, Williams will likely face a battle with Joique Bell and Stephfon Green for a roster spot. He is still a young player but won’t be able to count on that as a tie breaker since the Bell and Green are youngsters themselves.