Detroit Lions Roster Projection: All Of The Linemen

Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Taylor Decker (Ohio State) is selected by the Detroit Lions as the number sixteen overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Taylor Decker (Ohio State) is selected by the Detroit Lions as the number sixteen overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

As the Detroit Lions prepare for the preseason, here is a look at what the Week One 53-man roster might look like.

With the preseason about a month away, it is not too early to start looking at what the 53-man roster might look like for the Detroit Lions come Week One.

This projection is one of three from us at Detroit Jock City as Zac Snyder and Erik Schlitt have their own ideas, all of which we will be discussing in a fourth post in a couple of days. You can read Zac’s prediction here and Erik’s prediction here.

This projection is based on the current roster and does not include any potential signings that might occur between now and the season. Italics indicate that I think the player is a lock for the 53-man roster, and any player named in parenthesis is a potential practice squad selection.

Quarterback (2)

Matthew Stafford, Dan Orlovsky, (Jake Rudock)

The only question at quarterback is whether or not sixth-round pick Jake Rudock makes the 53-man roster or ends up on the practice squad. He seems like a likely candidate for the practice squad, especially because Stafford’s durability is not a question mark, so carrying a third quarterback is probably unnecessary.

Running Back/Fullback (5)

Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Michael Burton, Stevan Ridley, Zach Zenner, (Dwayne Washington)

Ridley and Zenner will square off for the role of power back. I think they will both make the roster, although more for lack of depth at the position than for any other reason. Seventh-round rookie Dwayne Washington will likely end up on the practice squad.

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Wide Receiver (5)

Outside receivers: Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Jay Lee, (Corey Fuller, Quinshad Davis)

Slot receivers: TJ Jones, Jeremy Kerley

Jeremy Kerley and Andre Roberts will duke it out for the last slot receiver position. I’m giving the nod to Kerley right now, as the Lions seem more invested in him, but it should be close. UDFA Jay Lee seems to be more popular than Corey Fuller in camp, so I think the Lions give him a shot and try to put Fuller on the practice squad. UDFA Quinshad Davis might make the practice squad as well. Of course, the Lions also hosted Anquan Boldin a few weeks ago, so if the Lions signed him, that would change a lot.

Tight End (3)

Eric Ebron, Brandon Pettigrew, Cole Wick

Ebron and Pettigrew are both locks at this point, despite Ebron’s intermittent struggles and Pettigrew’s injuries. UDFA Wick has impressed in camp and seems to have the inside track for the number three spot. Matthew Mulligan is still in the conversation as a blocking tight end, depending on Pettigrew’s health.

Offensive Line (9)

Taylor Decker, Riley Reiff, Larry Warford, Laken Tomlinson, Travis Swanson, Graham Glasgow, Geoff Schwartz, Michael Ola, Joe Dahl, (Chase Farris)

The Lions return four of last year’s starters on the offensive line in 2016 and added four more over the weekend of the draft. Fifth-round rookie Joe Dahl’s versatility will land him a spot while developmental UDFA Chase Farris, who has been guaranteed $20,000, seems like a good choice for the practice squad.

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Defensive Line (9)

Ezekiel Ansah, Devin Taylor, Haloti NgataTyrunn Walker, A’Shawn Robinson, Wallace Gilberry, Caraun Reid, Stefan Charles, Anthony Zettel, (Brandon CopelandKhyri Thornton, Gabe Wright)

This position is pretty much a crapshoot after the first five names. There is a lot of room for players to move around on the depth chart and someone with upside will have to get cut or end up on the practice squad.

Linebackers (6)

DeAndre Levy, Tahir Whitehead, Josh Bynes, Kyle Van Noy, Antwione Williams, Jon Bostic

Van Noy will make the roster because he still has potential despite his struggles, although I expect Bynes to get the third linebacker spot over him. General manager Bob Quinn really seems to like Bostic, and it seems odd that he would trade for him just to cut him, so I think he makes the cut.

Cornerbacks (6)

Darius Slay, Nevin Lawson, Quandre Diggs, Alex Carter, Johnson Bademosi, Crezdon Butler, (Adairius Barnes, Ian Wells)

After Diggs, the depth chart is a bit muddled here. Bademosi is basically a lock, but he’s almost purely a special teamer. Barnes got a small signing bonus, so I think he at least lands on the practice squad. Overall, the lack of depth at this position might give someone like Darren Walls a chance to sneak onto the bottom of the roster, because there is not a lot of talent here.

Safeties (5)

Glover Quin, Rafael Bush, Miles Killebrew, Isaiah Johnson, Tavon Wilson

This position seems pretty straight forward for the most part. The Lions signed Wilson to a two-year deal early in free agency, so they would likely be loath to cut him. Don Carey seems to be the odd man out here. The presence of special teams ace Bademosi on the roster makes it more difficult to keep him but he could still be a factor if the roster shakes out in his favor.

Special Teams (3)

Matt Prater, Sam Martin, Jimmy Landes

The only question here is at long snapper. I think Landes gets the nod just because he was drafted. There would have been no point in drafting him just to cut him or stash him on the practice squad.

Next: Check out Erik Schlitt's 53-man roster prediction

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