Detroit Lions: 53-man roster prediction prior to season opener

Detroit Lions (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Justin Coleman, Detroit Lions
Justin Coleman, Detroit Lions (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /


In: (6) Desmond Trufant, Jeff Okudah, Justin Coleman, Amani Oruwariye, Darryl Roberts, Tony McRae

Out: Mike Ford, Dee Virgin

Rationale: Without a doubt, the Lions’ cornerbacks must play better in 2020; no team gave up more passing yards than Detroit last season. This new group will be hoping to pull them out of the mud, as well as force more turnovers.

Trufant will man one side to open the year. Who joins him in the starting lineup is still a question mark. Okudah will probably be playing starter snaps before too long, but the Lions may be hesitant to thrust the rookie into that role considering the missed reps from a truncated offseason. Oruwariye is a nice fall-back option in that case after he performed well down the stretch in 2019.

Coleman will patrol the slot and rarely come off the field; he played well over three-quarters of the Lions’ defensive snaps last year. McRae slides in as his backup but mainly thanks to his experience under new Lions’ special teams coordinator Brayden Coombs. Those two spent the last three years together with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Roberts’ knowledge of the scheme going back to his days with the New England Patriots gets him the nod, edging out both Ford and Virgin. These two played sizable roles for Detroit last year, but they aren’t difference makers and are expendable.