Lions Roster Prediction (First Edition)

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With a full week of training camp complete, I figured it was time to put together my first roster prediction for 2008.  Some of the players on the Lions make it easy to predict which side of the table (see below) they should be on as you know they're a lock or are gone.  However, there are quite a few players that are on the bubble, so to speak, making it very tough to predict whether or not they will be on the 53-man roster.

I'll explain the reasoning behind some of my decisions later on in this post, but first, here is my roster prediction:

Active Roster
Players Cut
Pos. # Player # Player
QB 5
Drew Stanton
None
6
Dan Orlovsky
8
Jon Kitna
RB 28 Tatum Bell 29 Brian Calhoun
34
Kevin Smith
44 Artose Pinner
36
Aveion Cason
- -
FB 40 Jon Bradley None
45 Jerome Felton
WR 11 Roy Williams 10 Brandon Middleton
80 Devale Ellis 15 Taye Biddle
81 Calvin Johnson 16 John Standeford
84 Shaun McDonald 17 Kenneth Moore
87 Mike Furrey 19 Ron Bellamy
TE 82 Casey FitzSimmons 49 Sean McHugh
86 Michael Gaines 83 John Owens
89 Dan Campbell - -
OT 72 George Foster None
73 Jonathan Scott
76 Jeff Backus
77 Gosder Cherilus
C 51 Dominic Raiola 67 Andy McCollum
74 Nick Jones
OG 61 Frank Davis 65 Madison Carroll
63 Manny Ramirez
64 Edwin Mulitalo 71 Corey Hulsey
66 Stephen Peterman
DE 92 Cliff Avril 70 Victor DeGrate
93 Corey Smith
95 Jared DeVries 90 Claude Harriott
97 Ikaika Alama-Francis 94 Rudolph Hardie
99 Dewayne White
DT 75 Shaun Cody 98 Landon Cohen
78 Cory Redding
79 Langston Moore
91 Chuck Darby
96 Andre Fluellen
LB 50 Ernie Sims 41 Leon Joe
52 Anthony Cannon
53 Paris Lenon 46 Tyrone Pruitt
57 Jordon Dizon 54 Gilbert Gardner
58 Teddy Lehman 55 Buster Davis
59 Alex Lewis
CB 21 Travis Fisher 33 Dovonte Edwards
23 Keith Smith 35 LaMarcus Hicks
25 Brian Kelly 38 Ramzee Robinson
30 Leigh Bodden 43 Stephen Howell
31 Stanley Wilson - -
S 26 Dwight Smith 24 Greg Blue
27 Daniel Bullocks
32 Kalvin Pearson
42 Gerald Alexander
K 4 Jason Hanson None
P 2 Nick Harris 3 Eddie Johnson
LS 48 Don Muhlbach None

Starting off at the running back position, I went back and forth when it came to Brian Calhoun.  Although he does provide versatility as he can return kicks/punts, his injuries have piled up over the last few years and he is pretty far behind for a player entering his third season in the NFL.  On top of that, with other positions stockpiling depth, there just wasn't room for someone like Calhoun.

Moving on to tight end, I struggled quite a bit with who should be on the 53-man roster.  In the end, Sean McHugh was the bubble player left off the roster.  He also has versatility as he can lineup at fullback or tight end, but then again, so can Casey FitzSimmons.  In the end, FitzSimmons just seemed to have more talent, giving him the nod over McHugh.

Heading over to the defensive side of the ball, the linebackers gave me loads of trouble.  With 10 combined defensive ends/tackles, there wasn't a whole lot of room for extra linebackers, leaving some of the final cuts to be pretty difficult.

First things first, Teddy Lehman and Anthony Cannon were the final two LBs on the roster for me, edging out Buster Davis and Gilbert Gardner.  Although the Lions did release Lehman early on in the offseason, he is back now and should stick around due to his versatility.  Not only can he play inside and outside linebacker, but he is a great special teams player as well, giving him a spot on the team in my opinion.

As for Anthony Cannon, I gave him the nod over Davis and Gardner simply because he seems to have more upside.  I could see Davis overtaking him to make the team as this really was a coin toss type of decision, but for right now I have Cannon keeping his spot on the team.

Once the preseason officially gets started and another month of practice takes place, we all will have a better idea of who will make the team and who will be looking for a new job.  I imagine injuries will make this type of prediction a tad bit easier a month from now since players will start to get banged up, but for now at least, I'm pretty happy with my early guesses.

Any thoughts or predictions of your own?

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