By 4 p.m. ET today the Lions and every other NFL team will trim their roster down to only 53 players. That means the active roster going into the regular season will soon be set, leaving me time for one more roster prediction.
The first and second roster predictions I did featured very few differences. The same can be said to an extent for the third prediction below as there are only little changes scattered throughout the table. A few players were swapped in and a few were swapped out as I thought about how many players the Lions will take at each position. The only constant was that there are going to be 25 players on offense, 25 on defense, and 3 on special teams. Once you go in and break down the different positions on offense and defense, things can't start to get tough when trying to figure out who is staying and who is going.
Before getting into my explanations for the decisions I made, first check out the third and final roster prediction below (changes from the last roster prediction are italicized).
|RB||28||Tatum Bell||29||Brian Calhoun|
|FB||45||Jerome Felton||49||Sean McHugh|
|WR||11||Roy Williams||10||Brandon Middleton|
|80||Devale Ellis||16||John Standeford|
|81||Calvin Johnson||17||Kenneth Moore|
|84||Shaun McDonald||19||Ron Bellamy|
|TE||82||Casey FitzSimmons||85||Clark Harris|
|OT||72||George Foster||74||Damion Cook|
|C||51||Dominic Raiola||67||Andy McCollum|
|OG||61||Frank Davis||71||Corey Hulsey|
|DE||92||Cliff Avril||70||Victor DeGrate|
|95||Jared DeVries||94||Rudolph Hardie|
|DT||75||Shaun Cody||98||Landon Cohen|
|LB||50||Ernie Sims||41||Leon Joe|
|CB||21||Travis Fisher||35||LaMarcus Hicks|
|25||Brian Kelly||38||Ramzee Robinson|
|30||Leigh Bodden||39||Kiwaukee Thomas|
|S||26||Dwight Smith||24||Greg Blue|
Starting at the very top, you'll see that Drew Henson is now in the "players cut" category. That is only a change because he was signed after the last roster prediction. He is like a rental player that brought depth for the final week and a half or so of the preseason. When he was signed he knew he was going to get cut, but there is a good chance Henson will be signed to the practice squad. He would only be moved to the active roster if a serious injury happened to one of the Lions' quarterbacks, but it is nice to have an insurance policy.
The next change I made is moving Jerome Felton back to the active roster. He replaces Jon Bradley, who is done for the season due to an injury. Felton would have been moved back to the active roster regardless of the injury, but the injury actually opened up room for a fourth tight end to be on the roster. I moved Sean McHugh to the right side of the table and moved John Owens on to the active roster. The Lions seem like they will take four tight ends and only one fullback, and Owens is the last one in there.
Moving down the table, the next notable change is that Buster Davis no longer is on the active roster. Tom Kowalski reported earlier this week that Davis likely won't make the team as he isn't versatile enough to play more than one LB position. Because of that, I swapped Davis out for Gilbert Gardner. Gardner can play multiple positions at linebacker, giving him the nod over Buster.
The final change I made in my third roster prediction affects the Lions' secondary. I decided to cut Greg Blue in order to add Dovonte Edwards to the active roster. I originally thought Blue would make the team, but in the last few days it seems like Edwards will get the spot over Blue.
As usual, leave your thoughts and any predictions you might have in the comments section. Just make sure your predictions are made before the Lions announce what the 53-man roster looks like, which will probably happen sometime in the afternoon.