Cut: Kellen Moore
This was a tough decision. I feel like Moore has the advantage right now because he knows the system. That being said, I think Lewis has plenty of time to learn this system, and will get some reps along with Kellen Moore and probably split some time in the 1st preseason game. We usually keep 4 QB's at least til the 2nd preseason game, so both QB's will have a good enough chance to make it. To me, Lewis had a start last year and played well. Moore looked very uncomfortable in the pocket and had poor arm strength (although there has been talk that has improved). I just see Lewis outplaying Moore to snag that #3 QB spot eventually.
Cut: Theo Riddick
The Theo Riddick hype has seemed to die down a little, and the Owens signing really hurt his case. Owens will contribute right away on Special Teams and was signed for a 2 year deal for $2.5 million which makes it hard for me to believe that he'd be cut with that kind of deal. As you can probably tell, I'm predicting Steven Miller to eventually win the returning job and he reminds me a lot of Trindon Holliday being a short player with great in-game speed and quickness.
Like I said, I expect Miller to be our returner eventually so I had to cut Spurlock and take away the 6th WR spot. The first 3 are a lock, and after that it's all up in the air. I expect Edwards to live up to the hype and become a big deep threat for us. I wanted to keep Fuller, but I look at Schilens as the same type of receiver...tall, fast and athletic. He could be a good #5 WR with a QB that can get the ball to him.
I really like Fauria, and I really want him to succeed. But I just think the odds are against him at this point. He really is going to need to show a lot at camp, and I think the only way he makes it is if he outplays Scheffler. I don't really see the Lions going with 4 TE's, but it's possible. I've voiced my displeasure with Grew and Scheff, but they will probably be our best options still. Also, Schwartz made it pretty clear that Scheffler is still an important piece of our offense going into this year.
Cut: Austin Holtz
This one is a no-brainer to me. Reiff your starting LT, Fox RT, Hilliard and Waddle your backups. Waddle could prove to be a solid backup and have more upside than Hilliard.
Sims and Warford will be your starting guards. Austin and Harris will be your hybrid guard/centers. I really didn't like the Harris signing and have only heard bad things about his performance in Tennessee, but the Lions like him enough to sign him to a 2 year $3 million deal. So I'm assuming he'll stay with us. Nagy was already cut earlier today. I picked Austin over Gandy, but it could go either way. Austin looked good last year and made it to the practice squad while Gandy has been around for a while and knows the system. I think it might be time for a change though.
Keep: Dominic Raiola (1)
Cut: No One (Most guards above are also centers)
Goodbye Hammer, wish I could have seen you play more, but there is just no room for you.
Even though Izzy and Jones can both play DT at a high level, IMO we really need another thick DT that can stop the run. Fairley and Mosley can do it but I'd rather have another true DT, and the Lions usually go with 4 true DT's anyways. I feel uncomfortable going forward with Nwagbuo or Saddler-McQueen as our 4th DT and the Lions have been reaching out to some guys for depth right now, so I'm assuming we'll pick someone up and they'll be our #4 DT. Maybe Bannan or Bernard?
I feel like the Lions are going to keep 6 CB's rather than 6 LB's, and to me that is what it's going to boil down to. We need more depth in the secondary, especially after our injury problems last year. Palmer, Whitehead and Lewis are all going to battle for the LOLB or Sam Linebacker spot. I see Palmer as the starter for now, but my guess is Whitehead takes over eventually. Whitehead has the most upside and the Lions made that clear by trading up to pick him a few years ago.
Like I said above, we had a lot of injuries last year in the secondary and I think the Lions will want to stay on the safe side and keep 6 CB's this year. My guess is Houston and Bartell are your starters by week 1 and Slay will take over as the #2 eventually. Bentley will thrive as a slot CB and Green showed some promise last year. And I really, really want to see Greenwood succeed and I really hope we don't cut him before he reaches his potential.
I thought before making this article that we were pretty deep at safety. But now I'm realizing that this position still scares me. I really like Quin, and if Delmas is healthy we're set. Carey was awesome last year and I love him as our backup. I'm not so sure about Hope, and I'm really not a big Silva, Wendling or Spievey fan. I think Silva has the most upside over those two, and I really think Spievey is a lost cause at this point, especially with his concussions.
Keep: Harvard "Kickalicious" Rugland, Sam Martin, Don "Muhldozer" Muhlbach (3)
Rugland vs. Akers will be some good competition that we haven't seen at the kicker position for a long time. Schwartz said earlier that Akers should be healthy for camp, but from what I've heard so far Kickalicious is the real deal. This was honestly a 50/50 for me and I'm not afraid to admit I'm rooting for Rugland. Sam Martin is pretty much a lock as he was used as a draft pick, and Muhlbach is Muhlbach. Martin can also be used on kickoffs as well.
Special Teams: 3