Detroit Lions 53-Man Roster Prediction: Pre-Ravens Game (Offense)

August 10, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Kellen Moore (17) hands off to Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell (35) during the second half between the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE

With one preseason game in the books for the Detroit Lions, we are starting to get a better idea of what their 53-man roster may look like. A lot could happen and change our view of the 53-man roster in the final three preseason games, but we have enough information right now to take an educated stab at who the Lions will go into the season with. First, let's examine the offense.

Quarterback

Keep (2): Matthew Stafford, Shaun Hill

Cut: Kellen Moore, R.J. Archer

As long as I can remember, the Lions have kept at least three quarterbacks on their roster. However, as of right now Kellen Moore does not appear to be worthy of one of the 53 spots on the team. What's more, based on his play against the Cleveland Browns, at this time I do think the Lions would be able to clear him through waivers and sign him to the practice squad. This could change if he improves in the coming weeks, but for now I have Moore being cut along with R.J. Archer.

Running Back

Keep (5): Kevin Smith, Stefan Logan, Keiland Williams, Joique Bell, Free Agent

Suspended to start season: Mikel Leshoure

PUP list to start season: Jahvid Best

Cut: Stephfon Green

The running back position for the Lions is quite complicated right now. Mikel Leshoure will be on the 53-man roster come Week 3, but to start the season he will be suspended and won't account for a roster spot. Also, I don't think Jahvid Best will be taking up a roster spot to start the season. All signs point to him beginning the regular season on the PUP list and missing at least the first six games. Considering he still hasn't been cleared from a concussion that happened last October, I see no reason why anything will change in the next two weeks.

I don't expect the Lions to go into the season with only four running backs. They could keep Stephfon Green on the active roster until Leshoure returns, but I expect the Lions to sign a free agent. They very well may wait to sift through the players who get cut to find somebody to bring in, but I foresee them making a move before then. Unless Best gets cleared soon, the Lions are going to have to act to add depth to this position, which is why I have a player currently not on the team (someone like Ryan Grant, for example) ultimately making the 53-man roster.

Fullback

Keep (0): None

Cut: James Bryant

I would love to see the Lions keep a fullback around as a lead blocker, but in all likelihood, Bryant will end up on the practice squad. That way he can help the Lions prepare for teams that use fullbacks. Chances are he wouldn't be used enough to be worth a spot on the 53-man roster, especially considering Will Heller can line up in the backfield if the Lions do want to use a fullback in a game every now and then.

Wide Receiver

Keep (6): Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Titus Young, Ryan Broyles, Maurice Stovall, Patrick Edwards

Cut: Nate Hughes, Jarett Dillard, Lance Long, Terrence Toliver, Wallace Miles, Dominique Curry

By not keeping three quarterbacks, I decided to spend the extra roster spot on a sixth wide receiver. The top four is set, and at this point I honestly believe the top six is set as well if you add in Maurice Stovall and Patrick Edwards. Should the Lions only keep five receivers, then they would have to pick between Stovall and Edwards in this scenario. With only two quarterbacks, however, they would have the luxury of keeping both of them. Stovall is a big contributor on the special teams cover units, and Edwards could contribute as a receiver and/or returner. To me, they have the edge, and if six receivers make the initial 53-man roster, I see both of them making the team.

Tight End

Keep (3): Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, Will Heller

Cut: Nathan Overbay, Alex Gottlieb, Austin Wells

This position is set barring an injury. Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler are the top two tight ends, and Will Heller is a very reliable and versatile player. I don't think he's going anywhere.

Offensive Tackle

Keep (5): Jeff Backus, Riley Reiff, Gosder Cherilus, Jason Fox, Corey Hilliard

Cut: Jonathan Scott

The Lions haven't kept five tackles before in the Jim Schwartz era, but there are five guys deserving of a spot on the 53-man roster. We know Jeff Backus isn't going anywhere, and Gosder Cherilus is safe as long as he's the starting right tackle. Riley Reiff is a lock to make the team, and both Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard have done a good job so far during training camp. By shifting guys like Reiff, Fox and Hilliard around to multiple positions, the Lions can get away with keeping five tackles on the team, especially with somebody like Reiff getting more reps at guard going forward.

Offensive Guard

Keep (2): Rob Sims, Stephen Peterman

Injured reserve: Bill Nagy

Cut: Jacques McClendon, J.C. Oram, Pat Boyle, Rodney Austin

If the Lions decide against keeping six receivers, that extra roster spot on offense very well may go to an offensive guard. The Lions could certainly use more depth behind the starters, and I could see Jacques McClendon or Rodney Austin playing their way onto the roster. Since I did go with six receivers, there's only room for the two starters at guard. (Bill Nagy, who was just claimed off waivers after having ankle surgery, will likely be placed on injured reserve at the end of camp.)

Center

Keep (2): Dominic Raiola, Dylan Gandy

Cut: Dan Gerberry

Perhaps the player with the best chance of making the team if the Lions go with two quarterbacks and five receivers is Dan Gerberry. He's no longer eligible for the practice squad, and he has the ability to play both guard and center. That versatility is important, and I could see the Lions keeping him around to go along with Dylan Gandy, who is a similar player.

Changes From The Last Prediction (June 18)

Added to the 53-man roster: RB Free Agent, WR Maurice Stovall

Removed from the 53-man roster: QB Kellen Moore, RB Jahvid Best (PUP list)

Reminder: You can follow Pride of Detroit on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pride Of Detroit

You must be a member of Pride Of Detroit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pride Of Detroit. You should read them.

Join Pride Of Detroit

You must be a member of Pride Of Detroit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pride Of Detroit. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker