SLR Hot Routes: Detroit Lions Roster Edition

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4. Out of both sides or the ball, who is most likely to struggle in 2015?

Ackerman – LaAdrian Waddle on the offensive side as he’ll need time to kick the rust off. Jason Jones on defense as he’s not dynamic enough to compensate for the loss of Suh.

Platte – The offensive line was a horror show in 2014 and while we all expect progress I don’t really think it will be easy in 2015. They’re already dealing with injuries at right tackle again, with Cornelius Lucas missing more time, and relying on a converted TE and a 7th round pick does not engender confidence. New starters at 3 different positions, the line could be a huge problem.

DeMara – The Lions have gotten more mileage out of Rashean Mathis than even they’d probably like to admit. For the past two seasons, Mathis has looked spry at cornerback and hasn’t lost a step in both pass and run defense. That will change a bit in 2015, and he won’t look nearly as tough. For the first time, Mathis will look like what he is: a 34 year-old football player.

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DeGain – As much as I hate to say it, I think we have our biggest struggles at the Safety position. Ihedigbo will really need to step up and show he belongs here and deserves the money he wants. Abdul-Quddus though seems to be ready to hold that spot as well. I just hope he has enough experience now to stand in and be an all-pro like I feel he can.

Payton – On offense I see a potentially struggled filled season for Joique Bell. The early injury concerns and weight problems could lead to a poor season. Defense, I think Kyle Van Noy has an up hill battle at this point. With the rise of Tahir Whitehead, it’s tough to see where Van Noy fits in the grand scheme.

Williams – On the offensive side of the ball I’m going to go with Joique Bell. The offensive line is upgraded, but I still think Bell struggles to average 4.0 yards-per-carry. Time split with rookie Ameer Abdullah wont help his stat line either.

On the defensive side I think Haloti Ngata may have a harder time in this system than most people would like to admit. Now, I’ve been wrong before, but in Detroit Ngata will be asked to get up the field and after the quarterback more than he did with the Baltimore Ravens. At 31-years-old, that added effort could take a toll.

Next: How many Detroit Lions make the 2015 Pro Bowl?