Aug 9, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) in the huddle in the first quarter of a preseason game against the New York Jets at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions 53-Man Roster Prediction: Kellen Moore Misses the Cut

The Detroit Lions will have some difficult decisions to make later in training camp when cuts start having to be made. However, the first preseason game helped to bring some clarity to the situation. Here is my attempt at constructing the Lions 53-man roster based on where we are today.

Quarterbacks (2)
Matthew Stafford, Shaun Hill

The first big decision comes at quarterback where the Lions will have to decide if they would rather continue to carry three or use the roster spot elsewhere. With what Kellen Moore showed in his first preseason game of year two, the roster spot is better used elsewhere.

Running backs (4)
Reggie Bush, Joique Bell, Mikel Leshoure, Montell Owens

Montell Owens playing a big role on special teams should surprise no one but the fact that he got looks in a couple multiple-back offensive sets Friday night tells me his role on this team could be even bigger.

Wide Receivers (6)
Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Ryan Broyles, Patrick Edwards, Matt Willis, Micheal Spurlock

The top four are set, it’s just a matter of sorting out who fills the last two spots on the wide receiver depth chart. Matt Willis gets the nod for his very good performance against the Jets and special teams ability, Spurlock gets the nod as the team’s return man.

Tight Ends (3)
Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, Michael Williams

I like Joseph Fauria as a prospect but there just wasn’t room. Hopefully the Lions can retain him on the practice squad in case of injury and for the future but leaving him unprotected is a risk the Lions have to take.

Offensive linemen (9)
Riley Reiff, Jason Fox, Corey Hilliard, LaAdrian Waddle
Rob Sims, Larry Warford, Dylan Gandy, Jake Scott
Dominic Raiola

Dylan Gandy serves as the backup center, Jake Scott may be interchangeable with another guard on the training camp roster.

Defensive linemen (10)
Ziggy Ansah, Jason Jones, Willie Young, Devin Taylor, Israel Idonije
Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, C.J. Mosley, Jimmy Saddler-McQueen

The Lions’ depth on the defensive line may lead to the team carrying one additional player than usual. If they don’t go in that direction, Ronnell Lewis may be very disappointed on cut day.

Linebackers (6)
DeAndre Levy, Stephen Tulloch, Ashlee Palmer, Tahir Whitehead, Travis Lewis, Cory Greenwood

Six linebackers is a little thin but the Lions might roll with it if they are confident in whoever doesn’t win the starting job between Palmer and Whitehead. Lewis can play inside and outside, the versatility helps the Lions stay lean at linebacker to keep an extra defensive end.

Defensive backs (11)
Chris Houston, Darius Slay, Bill Bentley, Ron Bartell, Jonte Green, Chris Greenwood
Glover Quin, Louis Delmas, Don Carey, Amari Spievey, John Wendling

Roster spots at corner could be up for grabs depending on health, particularly as it relates to Greenwood. The Lions knew it would be a slow process with him but the nagging injuries are starting to really cut into his development.

David Akers

Rugland is a great story but Akers is the man unless he falls apart in the last three preseason games.

Sam Martin

Don Muhlbach

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  • Kent Lee Platte

    Spurlock did nothing as a return man against the Jets, granted he wasn’t really given an opportunity, but with Edwards actually making a good return and performing better in camp than Spurlock anyway I’m not sure it makes sense to keep Spurlock in that WR spot when there are better receivers (Durham or even Austin) who could contribute.

    • Leslie Hoerwinkle

      I think Durham makes it, too.

    • Zac Snyder

      Edwards was more impressive in the return game but it is becoming increasingly clear there is a real role on offense for him. That means there is less reason to expose him to the dangers of also being a return man, leaving the door open for Spurlock. He makes the team as the return man but fits on the roster as a wide receiver. Essentially, he takes the spot Stefan Logan held last year. The last two wide receiver spots are fluid at this point.

  • westseadoc

    I’m surprised at the pundits who don’t see the potential in Kellen Moore. First, he’s still just a 2nd year player. 2nd, Shaun Hill might be headed to another team in the next 1-2 years. 3rd, some were unimpressed by his performance in the first game BUT if you ignore the first series in which he was 0 for 3, which can be discounted for the first series of the year for a player who has had VERY LIMITED reps in practice, Kellen was 8 for 10 and that’s not bad. He also DID NOT TURN OVER the ball. That would be the very first thing that I would be watching for in any back up for me. DOES HE PROTECT THE BALL and therefore, give us a chance to score and ELIMINATE any chance of the D to score for that series and prevent them getting field position. People are very very quickly seduced by the spectacular play to score but underestimate the need to give your D a chance to score by not giving the ball to the opponent with good field position. He led the team to some scores, even if only field goals and given enough reps he would more quickly see and commit to a throw. ANY hesitation in making a throw gives the defense time to close 2 to 3 yards and that’s the difference between an incompletion or, worse, an interception. Avoiding a sack, fumble, or interception is very underrated by the public and much appreciated by a coach. We fans look to scoring potential first and to coaches often watch for turnover potential first. In addition, what fans and pundits look for first is size and arm strength; the first is important but overrated as demonstrated by Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, and Fran Tarkenton of yore. The second is not to be overly discounted but arms get stronger with time in your 20s and Kellen’s will get stronger over the next year. He’ll never be a Bret Favre but it will be strong enough and I’ve always said that a strong arm can get you into a narrow window but it can make you overestimate what you can do with it. Fans remember when a QB threads a needle for a spectacular throw and catch but underestimates the QB that quietly moves the chains 10 yards at a time. KM will more likely be that type of QB. If the Lions cut Kellen Moore, they will live to regret it and I think the coaches choices in playing reflect that. KM will have to continue to show comfort and progression in the next couple of games, but if he does, there should be NO WAY that the Lions cut this player. Remember, Wes Welker was not recruited by any D1 college, not drafted by any NFL team … and the fans and pundits thought that was an obviously good choice … that is, until he proved literally unstoppable. Conventional wisdom is just that, conventional … you can make playoffs being conventional but often it is the unconventional choice that leads to championship level achievement. How many so called experts would have dropped Alex Smith for Colin K last year, in mid stream, once Alex returned (and was among the top rated QBs at the time and was having a really good season before injury?).

  • boisest.fanforlife

    kellen moore is the man, and the best qb ive ever seen. he has the potential to be one of the greatest of all time just like he was in college. given the proper chance he deserves, he’ll destroy records. what was that joe Montana said about him? oh ya, that kellen’s “the only quarterback I’ve ever seen that I think might be better than me”. amen joe. Go Detroit. And go kellen. were all praying for you back here in Idaho.

  • George Johnson

    Well he made the team. So you gurus who don’t like Kellen Moore need to crawl back in your hole. This is a guy that is proving he can play in the NFL. I predict he will be a starter some day if he can improve his arm strength. He may be the best QB at the mental aspect of the game to ever play football. The NFL coaches are finding out what he can do through the practice and preseason opportunities the Detroit staff are giving him.

    • Zac Snyder

      Hi George, thanks for reading. You may notice this post is a few weeks old. The updated prediction on the site had Kellen Moore making the cut after much better showings in the third and fourth preseason games.