Post Draft Prediction for the Detroit Lions 53-Man Roster

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The Lions have now completed their 2014 draft and will begin the full offseason program in the upcoming weeks. With Jim Schwartz gone and a new regime in town, this is when the fun begins. We can now take a look at which guys fit the new coaches’ systems and which ones don’t.

Here’s my early guess at which players will make the Detroit Lions 53-man roster later this offseason.

Quarterbacks

Dec 16, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) against the Baltimore Ravens at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 16, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) against the Baltimore Ravens at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Currently on the roster: Matthew Stafford, Dan Orlovsky, Kellen Moore, and James Franklin

Matthew Stafford is firmly entrenched as the Lions starter. Heading into his fifth season, this seems like a make or break season for the quarterback. He has put up gaudy stats since entering the league, but has never been able to consistently play up to his ability. It will be interesting to see how the new coaching staff develops Stafford throughout the offseason. My biggest knock on Stafford has been the mental side of the game. He has all the physical tools a quarterback could dream of having, but he becomes too reliant on his arm at times and needs grasp the small details that were never emphasized by Scott Linehan or Jim Schwartz.

For first time in four years, the Lions will have a new backup quarterback. With Shaun Hill leaving for St. Louis, the Lions are trusting former Lion Dan Orlovsky with that duty. Orlovsky is a good punching bag for Lions fans, rightfully so, but he’s familiar with the coaching staff and adds a veteran presence to the quarterback group.

Beyond Stafford and Orlovsky, the roster is wide open. It’s still not even clear whether the Lions will keep a third quarterback on the roster. Kellen Moore is a holdover from the previous regime and I think his days are numbered. Undrafted Free Agent James Franklin is my bet to make the roster for his ability as a dual threat quarterback–racking up 6,962 passing yards and 1,729 rushing yards while at Missouri.

My Guess: Matthew Stafford, Dan Orlovsky and James Franklin (3)

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Tags: 53-Man Roster Detroit Lions

  • George_Johnson

    As usual a sports writer is underestimating K Moore, speculating and making assumptions. K Moore essentially proved he could play in the NFL last year based on his body of work in practices and preseason games. The former Lions coaches were very pleased with his performances and development. K Moore will likely shine in his third year, as a quick learner of the new playbook and the fact he will likely fit well in a New Orleans style playbook. The new coaches will gain confidence in K Moore as they get to know him and see him in practices and preseason games. At this point they have said little and know little. Mayhew has expressed reservations about K Moore and the fact he does not have any NFL season game experience. Mayhew is not one of the coaches and I have to assume K Moore will be given a fair chance to demonstrate what he can do just like all the players should be given a fair chance. I am optimistic K Moore will likely earn the 2nd string QB position, not compete with Franklin for the 3rd string QB position, if he has improved his arm strength. K Moore’s accuracy, anticipation and decision making are outstanding. I know Caldwell wants a backup QB with NFL season game experience but every QB has to be given a chance at some point to get into a season NFL game with no experience in a season NFL game. This is just a fact of being a new NFL QB. If for some reason he ends up competing with Franklin for the 3rd string QB position he will easily outplay Franklin with two years of experience and one of the top QBs in his draft year even though he was not drafted because of his size, lack of athleticism and lack of cannon for an arm.

    • Butch Anderson

      I don’t disagree with SLR and there pick of the 53 players
      making Lions roster. I just wouldn’t pick the corner backs
      until later and if I had to pick
      now I wouldn’t cut Jonte Green he is #53 the last player to make the final 53. He didn’t get on the field until late in the season but played very well when he did. He has very good speed he just needs
      to get rid of a few bad habits
      and I think the new coach’s
      and the new press cover might
      or (hopefully) bring’s out the
      best in him. This is going to be
      a very tough decision to pick
      the CB’s and Safeties this year.

    • jack_sprat2

      Do you guys maintain shrines in your homes or do you just light candles at church for this guy? Shee-esh.

      • George_Johnson

        No, I am just a fan who has followed him since his sophomore year in high school and read everything said about him and seen most of his games since that time. I try to be objective in my comments and share what I know about him, which is a lot. I am no football or QB expert by any means. To sum it up I think he is a master at QB, trapped in a small body by NFL standards, with minimal athleticism, and a lack of a cannon for an arm. I believe he still may be able to play in the NFL because his strengths are so strong he may be able to overcome his weaknesses. He will be most effective in a west coast type offense with mostly short to intermediate passes all over the field. I base this opinion a lot on what Peterson his college coach said about him; “that he is the best pocket passer he has ever seen.” Pretty strong statement from a respected major college coach who I assume has seen Tom Brady, Payton Manning, Drew Brees, etc. play.

  • jack_sprat2

    Other than the call on Houston, which was understandable, especially given Mayhew’s track record of keeping overpriced old wine gathering dust, you did a good job. Myself, I think that they’ll go with only two QB, but keep 9 OL, so out with Franklin and in with both Hilliard and Austin. However, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Bullard take Austin’s spot. If he does, the Spirit of 76 team should commence to warm up the fife and drum to play taps for the tenure of Rob Sims.

    That net addition of one to the offense will necessitate dropping one defender. That will likely be the fifth safety, Gomes. Vaughan will stick, in Houston’s stead. Beyond Bullard, my other sleeper is Couplin. If he impresses sufficiently, then Greenwood is the likely loser, because of Carey’s versatility.

    My biggest hesitation is dropping Green; not because i think that they won’t, but because I think that it may come back to bite them in the ass. (Some guys just have a harder time getting out of their own way.)