Detroit Lions Roster Prediction: Brandon Pettigrew Left Out

Sep 3, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions strong safety Don Carey (26) leads the team onto the field before a preseason NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Lions beat the Bills 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 3, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions strong safety Don Carey (26) leads the team onto the field before a preseason NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Lions beat the Bills 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Jock City’s Zac Snyder makes his pre-training camp prediction for the Detroit Lions’ 53-man roster for the 2016 season.

Detroit Lions training camp is rapidly approaching and the team’s 2016 roster will start to take shape as position battles play out. In anticipation of that happening, a trio of Detroit Jock City writers – Erik Schlitt, Colton Wesley and yours truly – are simultaneously publishing our pre-training camp 53-man roster prediction.

We will follow up our roster predictions with a discussion about the differences in how we made our projections in a post coming later this week. For now, you can check out Erik’s here, Colton’s here and mine below.

Quarterbacks (2): Matthew Stafford, Dan Orlovsky (Cut: Jake Rudock)

The Lions finally joined the two quarterback bandwagon last season and so I view this year’s quarterback situation as a two-man battle between Orlovsky and Ruddock behind Stafford. In the end, I expect the Lions to keep the veteran and retain the rookie on the practice squad to keep him in the room and in the system.

Running backs (5): Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner, Michael Burton, Stevan Ridley (Cut: Dwayne Washington, George Winn)

Abdullah and Riddick are locks and Zenner already beat out Winn last year. Those three, along with fullback Michael Burton, can be accounted for right away. It then comes down to Ridley, Winn and Washington with the outcome riding on whether or not Ridley has anything left to give.

Wide Receivers (5): Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, TJ Jones, Jeremy Kerley, Jay Lee (Cut: Andre Roberts, Corey Fuller, Andre Caldwell, Jace Billingsley, Ryan Spadola, Damian Copeland, Quinshad Davis)

Receiving options from other position groups means the Lions can keep five wide receivers instead of six. That’s a good thing because their depth doesn’t extend that far.

Tight Ends (3): Eric Ebron, Cole, Wick, Matthew Mulligan (Cut: Brandon Pettigrew, Orson Charles, Adam Fuhene, Ben McCord)

Mulligan’s name could just as easily read “not currently on roster” as I’m not ready to buy in to signs that Brandon Pettigrew will be on the final roster. He got a mention from Bob Quinn on the Jim Rome show and his recovery is reportedly going well, but his cap hit is problematic for a player with a limited offensive role.

Offensive Line (9): Taylor Decker, Riley Reiff, Larry Warford, Laken Tomlinson, Travis Swanson, Graham Glasgow, Geoff Schwartz, Joe Dahl, Michael Ola (Cut: Cornelius Lucas, Corey Robinson, Chase Farris, Gabe Ikard)

Some teams might carry ten offensive lineman but the Lions can definitely get away with carrying nine considering how much versatility they have in their group. This collection of offensive lineman has much more versatility than last year’s group, when the Lions also rolled with nine offensive lineman after final cuts.

Defensive Line (10): Haloti Ngata, A’Shawn Robinson, Tyrunn Walker, Caraun Reid, Stefan Charles, Ezekiel Ansah, Devin Taylor, Wallace Gilberry, Anthony Zettel, Brandon Copeland (Cut: Gabe Wright, Khyri Thornton, Deonte Gibson, Kerry Hyder, Louis Palmer)

I’m not convinced everyone who makes the final roster on the defensive line is on the roster now but Copeland’s conversion to full-time defensive end is reportedly going well.

Linebackers (6): DeAndre Levy, Tahir Whitehead, Kyle Van Noy, Josh Bynes, Antwione Williams, Jon Bostic (Cut: Zaviar Gooden, Jerry Franklin, Khaseem Greene)

The back end of the linebacker depth feels like another area for improvement if the option presents itself as guys become available during training camp but Williams has special teams ability as a rookie and Bostic is a former Patriot brought in by Bob Quinn.

Defensive Backs (10): Darius Slay, Nevin Lawson, Quandre Diggs, Alex Carter, Darrin Walls, Johnson Bademosi, Glover Quin, Rafael Bush, Miles Killebrew, Tavon Wilson (Cut: Isaiah Johnson, Don Carey, Crezdon Butler, Adairius Barnes, Ian Wells, Charles Washington, Keith Lewis)

I was tempted to put Isaiah Johnson ahead of Tavon Wilson but in the end I couldn’t go with a roster holdover over a guy that came in under Bob Quinn, especially one with Patriots ties. Alex Carter has something to prove and Darrin Walls is no lock, but they are the safest bets to round out the cornerback depth chart right now.

Specialists (3): Matt Prater, Sam Martin, Jimmy Landes (Cut: Don Muhlbach, Devon Bell)

Prater and Martin are locked in and while Muhlbach should get an honest shot to keep his job, the writing is probably on the wall with the drafting of Landes.

Next: Check out Colton Wesley's 53-man roster prediction

Be sure to read Erik’s and Colton’s prediction posts and look for our discussion piece later this week.