Detroit Lions: Predicting the final 53-man roster for the 2021 season

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Lions, Jermar Jefferson
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell have until 4 P.M. Tuesday to trim their roster from 80 players to 53 players as we near the start of the 2021 NFL regular season.

It’s never easy predicting who will stay and who should go, and I’m not completely confident in all of my decisions.  Let’s dive right into this, and I completely anticipate plenty of criticism.  It’s officially Jared Goff’s team.

Detroit Lions: Quarterback (3)

  1. Jared Goff
  2. David Blough
  3. Tim Boyle

Yes, I have David Blough as the primary backup.  I feel that Blough has earned the right to be the first off the bench if something unfortunate were to happen to Goff.  Also, Boyle, who the Detroit Lions clearly prefer, suffered a hand injury in the teams’ final preseason game that may force him to miss time.

Before the injury, I had the organization keeping three quarterbacks, which is not exactly a league-wide trend.

Detroit Lions: Running Back (5)

  1. D’Andre Swift
  2. Jamaal Williams
  3. Jermar Jefferson
  4. Craig Reynolds
  5. Jason Cabinda (FB)

We often speak highly of the top two Detroit Lions tailbacks, Swift and Williams, but perhaps not enough about the depth of the position on the roster.  Rookie Jermar Jefferson has turned heads during the preseason with his ability to help out in the passing game, both with an ability to catch the football and pass protect on third down.

I expect many experts projecting the Detroit Lions roster has Godwin Igwebuike and perhaps Dedrick Mills over Reynolds, but I’m going with Reynolds.  Reynolds famously introduced himself to his teammates in the huddle before galloping for a touchdown in the preseason opener against Buffalo.  His teammates have nicknamed him ‘Netflix’ because he’s chasing a Hollywood type of ending.

It really comes down to which player can help the team’s special teams the most, and Reynolds seems to understand that and has made a conscious effort to do whatever is asked of him.

Swift may be forced to miss week ones’ contest with the San Francisco 49ers, which means Jefferson and whoever the fourth running back kept should see a few touches when the starter Williams needs a rest.