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.
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)