Detroit Lions 53-Man Roster Prediction


May 29, 2012; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterbacks Shaun Hill (14), Matthew Stafford (9) and Kellen Moore (17) stretch during organized team activities at Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

With the Detroit Lions fourth preseason game in the books, we now turn our attention to the final cuts to reach the NFL mandated 53-man roster. By 6:00 pm on Saturday we will know who will be dressing on Sundays, and shortly thereafter, who the Lions brass will look to develop on the practice squad. Here are my final, post-preseason predictions. (Asterisk denotes predicted starter.)

QB (3) – Matthew Stafford*, Shaun Hill, Kellen Moore

RB (4) – Reggie Bush*, Joique Bell, Mikel Leshoure, Theo Riddick

WR (6) – Calvin Johnson*, Nate Burleson*, Ryan Broyles, Patrick Edwards, Matt Willis, Micheal Spurlock

TE (3) – Brandon Pettigrew*, Tony Scheffler*, Joseph Fauria

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

DE (5) – Ziggy Ansah*, Jason Jones*, Devin Taylor, Willie Young, Israel Idonije

DT (4) – Ndamukong Suh*, Nick Fairley*, C.J. Mosley, Justin Bannan

LB (6) – Stephen Tulloch*, DeAndre Levy*, Ashlee Palmer*, Tahir Whitehead, Rocky McIntosh, Travis Lewis

DB (10) – Chris Houston*, Darius Slay*, Bill Bentley, Rashean Mathis, Glover Quin*, Louis Delmas*, Don Carey, John Wendling, Jonte Green, Amari Spievey

ST (3) – David Akers, Sam Martin, Don Muhlbach

Practice Squad (8) – Rodney Austin (G), Corey Fuller (WR), Brandon Hepburn (LB), Chris Greenwood (CB), Steven Miller (RB), Martavius Neloms (S), Jimmy Saddler-McQueen (DT), Michael Williams (TE)

Notable Cuts – Ron Bartell, Kris Durham, Montell Owens

A few thoughts:

– Keep in mind that practice squad players must clear waivers before they can be signed to the practice squad.

– Kellen Moore earned a spot on the roster after his final two preseason performances. It’s possible that if (and that’s a big if) the Lions’ front office believes they have seen the real Kellen Moore, they may even consider dealing Shaun Hill for a mid-round draft pick in the 2014 draft. Buffalo and Oakland are two teams who could be potential suitors.

– Matt Willis stood out this preseason and won the fifth wide receiver spot. However, with cuts being made around the league, Detroit may be in the market for a deep threat cut from another roster. If that’s the case, Willis would be the first to lose a roster spot.

– Micheal Spurlock and Theo Riddick could easily be listed under special teams rather than receiver and running back, as they are unlikely to see the field at either of those positions. To be fair, Riddick made some nice plays against Buffalo in the final preseason game and shows promise in the backfield. For now, however, his role is special teamer and student to Reggie Bush.

– Many have given the third tight end spot to Michael Williams simply based off draft status, but Fauria earned his spot with his receiving ability and reported improved blocking in camp.

– If you feel like ten defensive backs is a lot to keep on a roster, you’re right, and I agree with you. The Lions have a lot of young talent in the defensive backfield, and eventually it needs to translate into performance on the field. Each player on that list can contribute on special teams, and with the history of injuries among the defensive backs, it can’t hurt to have a few extra around.

What do you think, Lions fans? Where did I go wrong? Would you be comfortable with Kellen Moore as the backup to Matthew Stafford? Is ten defensive backs too many on the active roster? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!