Detroit Lions Roster Bubble: Defensive Tackle

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Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Caraun Reid, 5th round pick out of Princeton in 2014
2014 stats:  12 Games, 2 tackles, 0.0 sack

When Caraun Reid slid from his 3rd-4th round projection all the way to the end of the 5th round, many (including myself) considered it a coup that he was drafted that late in the process.  The Senior Bowl standout’s draft position was less a fall and more of teams realizing where he was really at in terms of NFL potential.

Not the NFL ready draft prospect many considered him to be, Reid was woefully over-matched in every aspect of the game and it showed early.  The warning signs were there as Reid was ineffective in training camp and failed to make an impact even as undrafted free agents and veteran cast-offs were performing well all around him.  The questionable readiness plagued him in the preseason as well, with Reid only showing up when the competition was dumbed down later in games.

The regular season hit and Reid was listed 4th on the depth chart.  That part isn’t surprising behind Suh, Fairley and Mosley, but it was alarming when injuries started to mount and the team was plugging in players from other positions rather than giving Reid more time.  His only extended action was against the Jets, and Reid actually did quite well in that game.  Outside of that one game, however, Reid was a disaster every time he stepped on the field.  Few players were as much of a liability on as few snaps as Caraun Reid was as a rookie.

Chances of returning?

I know this negativity sounds like I’m harping on Reid, but the future is actually bright for him.  Reid is going to get a good shot at taking one of the starting positions in 2015 regardless of whether or not Suh returns.  If he’s able to improve, significantly, upon his play from 2014, Reid can still be that steal of the draft I thought him to be.  Reid remains on the Detroit Lions roster bubble despite his draft status, however, because if he CANNOT improve from his rookie season I don’t see any way the team retains him rather than bringing back Andre Fluellen for the 100th time.

Next: Ndamukong Suh