So - I've had my Sunday morning coffee - got a couple of really strong Arabic brewed cups in me now. And I just read Carlos Monarrez's " Braking Down the Lions Roster " in the Freep.
He had some oddball picks for the 53 man, but intriguing picks they were still.
So - Here is my " start of camp" penciled-in version of what I see coming down the pike.
It's always interesting to see how "wrong" my thinking was, as compared with the actuality, when we find that out.
OFFENSE - 24 players
QB: Stafford, Hill, Lewis
Lewis has an arm, has started a game, and can run - kind of like a Russell Wilson can run. I think he'll get a long look at #3 QB.
RB: Bush, Bell, Owens, Riddick
I think that the Lions would be smart to try and trade Mikel LeShoure for a mid-round pick at this point. I like the four above for their versatility and special teams ability. I like Bush's potential to become a star of a multi-dimesional #1 in our offense, so again, that makes LeShoure expendable as just a back-up. I'll be looking at Steven Miller too - but I predict he goes to the practice squad. Riddick however, is a multi-dimensional and shifty athlete that I predict will stick.
WR: CJ, Burleson, Broyles, Mike Thomas, Cory Fuller, Edwards.
I think Mike Thomas has the speed and the NFL resume to stick as a #4. Fuller has size and speed and will nail down a niche spot as a #5 that can run fly's and go's. I predict that Edwards also will come on during this camp/preseason. We need the depth here - no question, so I see us keeping six.
Just for grins, I wonder if the Lions are doing any due diligence, on say . . . Laurent Robinson, or even Randy Moss. Moss I think is still capable of making some plays and had a decent year last year. Moss has some mojo to him still - that I think we could use, even if he has lost a lot of his once phenomenal speed. Robinson I think is a valid #2WR if he is healthy and has a decent QB throwing to him. If the Lions sign a guy like this, then it's Edwards back to the PS.
TE: Pettigrew, Scheffler, Heller
Laugh all you want ! I think the Lions will really end up needing Heller's experience on the edges in certain blocking packages, given all the inexperience at OT, and I think they resign him. Williams is as slow as molasses and a rookie seventh round pick, so pencilling in him already for that #3 TE spot is extremely risky. Just because Heller is sitting at home now doesn't necessarily mean he's on the scrap heap - he actually had a good year last year and is healthy. Reiff carved himself a nice role as the max-TE last year, but that is because he was a talented first round draft pick who the Lions were wanting to rush onto the field. The same cannot be said about Williams. Williams and Fauria go onto the practice squad.
OT: Reiff, Fox, Hilliard, Scott
I think Scott makes the team as a versatile vet that has a solid NFL resume as a pass protector. Waddle to PS.
G: Sims, Warford
Scott can back-up here, as can Harris who I see as making the team as a back-up center.
C: Raiola, Harris
Nagy is still a big question mark. Harris is young, versatile, and has starting experience.
DEFENSE - 26 Players
DT: Suh, Fairley, Mosley
With help from JJ and Idonije
LB: Tulloch, Levy, Palmer, Whitehead, T Lewis, Messina
I think Messina has the "mentality" you need to play special teams, so he makes it as the #6LB. He also seemed to have a nose for the ball on D - which he also showed in college. Hepburn goes to the practice squad.
CB: Houston, Bartell, Slay, Bentley, Green, Greenwood
I'm excited about this group making some plays this year. There is not nearly the depth concern here that there was two ears ago.
S: Quin, Delmas, Carey, Hope, Spievey, Silva
I think we keep 6 safeties this year because I think their talent warrants keeping all of these guys, and we could use the depth at safety and for special teams.
SPECIALISTS: 3 players
Muhlbach, Rugland, Martin
The kicker and punter battles will be legit. Rugland I think has incredible talent and could beat out the aging vet. We drafted Martin so he has the edge at punter.