2. CB Starling Thomas
Thomas was an instant candidate to make the Lions' roster as a UDFA, and he did not disappoint with his performance in camp and his play on defense and special team during the preseason. But he did have some issues with penalties; holding and grabbing issues that will not fly in the NFL. That may have ultimately been the biggest thing that pushed him off the roster when it came to making a tough decision.
The activation of Emmanuel Moseley from the PUP list meant someone else had to give in the Lions' cornerback room. Thomas was pretty clearly that someone, but if he makes it through waivers he'll definitely be back on the Lions' practice squad.
Update: Thomas was claimed off waivers by the Arizona Cardinals.
1. RB Craig Reynolds
Reynolds landed as a potential surprise cut for us, and on Tuesday it happened. But the Lions only kept two running backs on their initial roster (still not counting Jason Cabinda), and a move to add someone is a guarantee before the season starts. The aforementioned possible IR placement of Julian Okwara and/or Ifeatu Melifonwu will open a roster spot in short order.
Re-signing Reynolds would be the most seamless move to add a running back, since he's obviously a familar face. Nice performances in each of the last two preseason games seemed to lock him into the No. 3 running back spot, and that remains the case even if he's not currently on the roster as the proverbial RB3.
The Lions may have released Reynolds (he is not subject to waivers) with an understanding they will just quickly re-sign him. Another team could swoop in, but he may turn them away within knowing he's coming back as soon as it's palatable.
So while he's No. 1 on this list of surprise cuts, Reynolds is also the most likely (and easiest) to wind up back with the Lions.