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An absurdly early Lions 53-man roster prediction

With the 2013 NFL Draft in the books, how about we take a stab at the Detroit Lions' 53-man roster?


The 2013 NFL Draft just finished four days ago, and by no means am I ready to shift out of draft mode just yet. We're going to take a much more in-depth look at the Detroit Lions' draft class in the coming weeks with scouting reports, and we will do the same with the Lions' undrafted free agents once they are actually announced.

With all that said, I am itching to start looking ahead to training camp. The Lions still have OTAs and minicamps to complete before they will turn their attention to training camp, but with the draft complete, I'm already starting to think about the different battles that will take place in August. Especially on the defensive side of the ball, there will be some interesting battles for roster spots and some tough decisions to make when the final round of cuts arrives.

Considering it's only the start of May, it's really too early to even make any truly educated guesses on what the Lions' 53-man roster will look like for the 2013 season. They still have to officially sign their undrafted free agents, and there will almost surely be several new faces added to the team before training camp gets here. Even so, with the draft complete, we are getting a clearer picture of how the roster is shaping up, so why not take a stab at the 53-man roster?

Before I get into my first roster prediction for 2013, I have three disclaimers:

  • There are no undrafted free agents listed in this roster prediction since they haven't been announced yet. I could see guys like Joseph Fauria or LaAdrian Waddle potentially making the team, but we'll have to save them for the next roster prediction later in the offseason.
  • The Lions will almost certainly sign at least one or two free agents before the end of the preseason who end up making the team, so keep in mind that this is based simply on who is on the roster right now.
  • This is a complete guess based on my own speculation. By the time the preseason is over, I will be able to put together a fairly accurate prediction (I went 51-for-53 with my picks last year); right now this is more about having some fun with a look at the Lions' roster.

Without further ado, I present to you my absurdly early Lions 53-man roster prediction (my picks to make the team are in bold and underlined):

QB Matthew Stafford
QB Shaun Hill
QB Kellen Moore

RB Reggie Bush
RB Mikel Leshoure
RB Joique Bell
RB Theo Riddick

RB Devin Moore
RB Jahvid Best (PUP list)

FB Shaun Chapas

WR Calvin Johnson
WR Nate Burleson
WR Ryan Broyles
WR Mike Thomas
WR Corey Fuller

WR Kris Durham
WR Brian Robiskie
WR Devin Thomas
WR Troy Burrell
WR Patrick Edwards
WR Lance Long
WR Terrence Austin
WR Chastin West
TE Brandon Pettigrew
TE Tony Scheffler
TE Michael Williams

TE Nathan Overbay
TE Dominique Curry

OT Riley Reiff
OT Corey Hilliard
OT Jason Fox

OG Rob Sims
OG Larry Warford
OG Bill Nagy
OG Rodney Austin
OG Dylan Gandy

C Dominic Raiola
DE Ezekiel Ansah
DE Jason Jones
DE Willie Young
DE Devin Taylor
DE Ronnell Lewis

DT Ndamukong Suh
DT Nick Fairley
DT C.J. Mosley
DT Ogemdi Nwagbuo

DT Jimmy Saddler-McQueen

LB Stephen Tulloch
LB DeAndre Levy
LB Ashlee Palmer
LB Tahir Whitehead
LB Travis Lewis
LB Carmen Messina

LB Brandon Hepburn
CB Chris Houston
CB Darius Slay
CB Jonte Green
CB Bill Bentley
CB Ron Bartell
CB Chris Greenwood

CB Ross Weaver
CB Conroy Black
CB Lionel Smith
CB D.J. Johnson

S Glover Quin
S Louis Delmas
S Don Carey
S John Wendling

S Ricardo Silva

S Amari Spievey
S Tyrell Johnson
S Trevor Coston

K David Akers
K Havard Rugland

P Sam Martin
P Blake Clingan

LS Don Muhlbach
  • Based on the current roster, the only tough call on offense was choosing the final wide receivers. I went with Mike Thomas and Corey Fuller over Kris Durham since the Lions traded a draft pick for Thomas and just spent a draft pick on Fuller. (In all reality, I expect someone not currently on the roster to end up making the team at wide receiver when all is said and done.)
  • Given that I have the entire offensive line making the team, it's clear that the Lions could use additional depth on the O-line. The Lions will get a boost from their UDFAs, but as Martin Mayhew basically said, there's a need to add a veteran offensive lineman.
  • On defense, there weren't really many tough choices to make when it came to the D-line. Based on the current make-up of the roster, the only question was Ogemdi Nwagbuo or Jimmy Saddler-McQueen for the final spot at defensive tackle. I basically flipped a coin to decide that, and like wide receiver, I have a feeling that a defensive tackle not currently on the team will end up making the 53-man roster.
  • Things were much tougher to call in the back seven, specifically at linebacker and safety. I wasn't sure if the final linebacker should be Carmen Messina or Brandon Hepburn, just as I wasn't sure if I should keep both of them or try to find room for an extra safety. In the end, I went with Messina over Hepburn (another coin flip, basically) at linebacker, and I kept five safeties. This resulted in Amari Spievey being pushed off the 53-man roster in favor of Ricardo Silva, as there just wasn't room for both. (I'm already pushing it by keeping 11 defensive backs, but I felt like keeping six cornerbacks made sense.)
  • On special teams, it's pretty clear that David Akers is the favorite at kicker and Sam Martin is the favorite at punter.

With four or so months to go until the final round of roster cuts, what does your current 53-man roster look like?

More from POD:

Track the Lions' picks in our draft StoryStream

Grade the Lions' 2013 draft class

Lions' 2013 draft class by the numbers

2013 Lions undrafted free agent tracker

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