Aug 15, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Dion Lewis (28) is tackled by Detroit Lions defensive back Darius Slay (30), linebacker Travis Lewis (50) and defensive end Jason Jones (91) during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports
Lewis was drafted in the seventh-round of the 2012 NFL Draft and found his niche on special teams for the Lions.
He’ll likely have to stick with the same role if he wants to remain a Lion, unless he has a strong camp and provides some depth behind Levy and Tulloch with the ability to play in 3-4 sub-packages.
Chances of making final roster: 50% (special teams, depth linebacker)
Last year, Greenwood had an unfortunate end to training camp and had to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. He had such an impressive camp that some were considering him as a lock to make the final roster, and even former head coach Jim Schwartz voiced his despondency to the loss of Greenwood.
"“He was having an outstanding camp,” Schwartz said. “Making plays on special teams, but not just that. He had shown some real good progress defensively. He has probably come farther than any other linebacker that we had because he had very little experience within our defense, but he picked it up quickly.”"
Greenwood will have a legitimate shot at making the 53-man roster as long as he stays healthy.
Chances of making final roster: 40% (possible special teams contributor)
With the First Pick
I don’t know what’s with general manager Martin Mayhew, but he sure does love himself some Jaguars.
Stanford was signed late last year after being waived by the Jaguars, and was reunited with special teams coach John Bonamego who spent several years as the Jaguars’ special teams coach over the course of a decade.
Like many others on the roster bubble, Stanford’s best shot will be to contribute on special teams moving forward.
Chances of making final roster: 20% (special teams?)
Hepburn is a seventh-round pick from last year’s draft. He spent the entire year on the practice squad and will likely endure the same fate this year unless he shows the necessary improvements during camp.
His best shot to make the team is to show flashes on special teams, but if it doesn’t work out for him, he could always go back to trying to cure cancer.
Chances of making final roster: 10% (practice squad)
Jackson’s only real shot at making the team is either standing out as one of the better special teams contributors in camp, or landing on the practice squad. He did put up some impressive combine numbers though, so there is some upside there.
Chances of making final roster: 0% (practice squad, best-case scenario)
Did They Improve?
The addition of Kyle Van Noy is an improvement in itself. The Lions have plenty of depth at the linebacker position and are in great shape heading into September. Not only is the position more talented than last year, but I think you will see a huge increase in production under Teryl Austin this year.
Austin has already voiced his displeasure with the amount of big plays the Lions gave up last year and is looking to fix that immediately, along with creating more turnovers themselves.