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The first round of roster cuts after the draft have concluded and the Detroit Lions roster remains the same as it was after the draft and UDFA rounds. We took a look ahead at what the offense might look like, now it’s time to project what we think the defense might shape up like. Just as before, there are players that will make the final roster that are likely not even on the roster just yet, and there are players who may be moved before hand. This is just a fun guess.
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Ziggy Ansah is pretty much the only lock on this roster at defensive end. Jason Jones is penciled in as the starter, but he rated as the worst defender on the Detroit Lions roster last season and shouldn’t be considered secure. SinceGeorge Johnson
departed, it’s up to Larry Webster to pick up the slack. That’s a tall order since he didn’t record a single snap last season. Darryl Tapp lands here by default. I’d like to see Devin Taylor win his spot, but he seems more and more like he doesn’t fit in this defense.
This position group shouldn’t have any surprises. Ngata is a lock, Walker is likely to start alongside him, and recent draft picks Wrigth and Reid fill pretty much the same role as rotational DTs. Jermelle Cudjo and Roy Philon are pretty much camp bodies, keeping the spot warm for Andre Fluellen‘s inevitable return. Xavier Proctor flashed last preseason and it’s possible he could fight for a roster spot, but more likely it’s back to the practice squad for him.
With the starting cast locked up, the story of training camp will be who will win the SAM spot between Tahir Whitehead and Kyle Van Noy. Only slightly less intriguing will be what happens after that. Julian Stanford is a very good athlete, as is Brandon Copeland, and both fill the athletic mold for linebackers that Teryl Austin likes better than Travis Lewis and Josh Bynes. Bynes falling off of the roster will surprise some, but his glaring lack of speed can only be masked so much by upper tier instincts.
This is one of the tougher position groups at the moment since there are so few practice squad eligible guys. With four corners drafted in three seasons, it’s pretty clear that Bill Bentley isn’t long for the roster and I think this is finally the year the team says goodbye. There is uncertainty with Nevin Lawson’s foot injury, but Mo Seisay could fill that spot if Lawson is unable to go.
With James Ihedigbo’s contract up in the air, the Detroit Lions roster will carry five safeties on it. Nothing flashy with the first three, but I think Nate Ness overtakes Don Carey as the swing defensive back while Isaiah Johnson was given a hefty UDFA bonus to land with the Lions. The wild card in this group is Nathan Lindsey. While he came from a small school, he fits what Teryl Austin likes in his defensive backs and has a legitimate shot to make the final roster.