Detroit Lions: Post 2019 NFL Draft 53-man roster predictions
Interior Defensive Line:
Players In Camp: John Atkins, Da’Shawn Hand, Damon Harrison, P.J. Johnson, Darius Kilgo, A’Shawn Robinson, Ray Smith, Matt Nelson, Kevin Strong Jr.
There won’t be a ton of roster spots available for interior lineman on the defensive side of the ball, but I think they’ll probably have about four set aside, maybe five if a surprise guy stands out. Because of that; there will likely only be one, or at most two spots up for grabs come camp time. That’s because Hand, Harrison, and Robinson are almost guaranteed a roster spot.
That leaves a lot of competition for that last spot that will probably go to a player who can provide some what of interior pressure as Robinson and Harrison are primarily run-stuffers. With that in mind, seventh round draft pick Johnson may see himself in danger of being cut as he does not offer much in terms of versatility or pass rush either.
A couple guys to watch are Nelson and Strong Jr. as both have the versatility this team seems to crave and have put up solid pass rushing production.
Makes The Roster (4)- Damon Harrison, Da’Shawn Hand, A’Shawn Robinson, Kevin Strong Jr. (R)
Players In Camp: Austin Bryant, Trey Flowers, Eric Lee, Mitchell Loewen, Romeo Okwara, Jonathan Wynn, Malik Carney, Parker Hesse
There is some question here as to how many people the Lions will keep at this position in my mind, but I’m thinking they end up keeping about five guys here. This is a position that could very well end up having a late preseason roster cut from another team fill in as the last guy in.
Trey Flowers and Romeo Okwara are obviously the starters as of now, and Bryant will be making the roster as a fourth round draft pick. After that it’s harder to predict but I think incumbent end Eric Lee fights his way onto the roster as depth.
Of the undrafted rookies coming into camp, Carney is by far my favorite and I think he could have a shot at making the roster. However, both him and Lee are both guys that could see themselves make the roster and then subsequently be cut the next day in favor of another guy freshly on the waiver wire (like Anthony Zettel and Okwara last year).
Makes The Roster (5)- Trey Flowers, Romeo Okwara, Austin Bryant (R), Malik Carney (R), Eric Lee
Players In Camp- Jarrad Davis, Christian Jones, Steve Longa, Jahlani Tavai, Tre Lamar, Anthony Pittman, Garrett Dooley, Devon Kennard, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Tre’ Williams, Juwon Young
For me, this is the easiest position group to predict right now. On the inside; Davis, Jones, and Tavai (who can also play outside) are all definitely making the team. Longa is a good special teams contributor and about the only depth we have at the position right now. That leaves Lamar and Pittman to try and make the roster, but at the moment I’m not sure either has what it takes.
On the outside; Kennard is the only one guaranteed a spot from what I can see. Even though Quinn said he was moving away from the smaller, quicker linebackers I’ not sure they have the depth at linebacker to cut Reeves-Maybin just yet, so I think he makes the roster too. After those two, it’s all up for grabs; but I think Young could sneak onto the roster because of his ability to play multiple positions.