Predicting the Detroit Lions final roster: Who stays, who goes?

Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /
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Bob Quinn, Detroit Lions
Bob Quinn, Detroit Lions (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions are preparing for the regular season but haven’t determined who will comprise the final roster. Here’s how it could unfold

Right now the Detroit Lions have an 80-man roster they are working from but have to trim that down to 53 by September 5, per league rules and the NFL website. While most of the players that will be kept are obvious, there are some key spots that the Lions will not have the preseason games to decide who the final few players are.

This week, we’ll sort through the tough places on the roster to decide and which players we believe should stay on the active roster. If we only had to say who the first 40 players that will be kept are, this would be nothing more than an academic exercise of making a list.

However, choosing the final half dozen men to make the Detroit Lions roster is the hard part. It’s always fun to try to put on your general manager hat and see how you might differ from or agree with Lions general manager Bob Quinn.

Detroit Lions core players and depth

We’ll go unit-by-unit and give our take on who are the difficult decisions. Rookies are delineated by (R) designation and projected starters are in bold.

Detroit Lions defense

Defensive line:

Ends: Trey Flowers, Romeo Okwara, (R) Julian Okwara, and Da’Shawn Hand, are all likely safe bets to make the 53-man roster.

Tackles: Danny Shelton (nose) and Nick Williams are in.

Probably in: tackle, Kevin Strong, Jr.


Jack: Jamie Collins, Sr. is the primary edge rusher in the 3-3-5 base scheme with Julian Okwara and possibly Austin Bryant as backups.

Will: Christian Jones with Jarrad Davis as a consideration here, too.

Mike (inside): Jarrad Davis and Jahlani Tavai are safe, as well; both men can function as edge players in head coach Matt Patricia’s scheme, too.

Defensive backs:

Cornerbacks: Desmond Trufant, (R) Jeff Okudah, Justin Coleman (slot), and Amani Oruwariye comprise the main man-cover men.

Safeties: Duron Harmon, Tracy Walker, and Will Harris are all in.

Probably in: CB Mike Ford, S Jayron Kearse

Total defensive players subtotal: 20