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Lions 53-man roster prediction: Post-minicamp edition

What might the Detroit Lions' 53-man roster look like in a few months? Let's take a post-minicamp stab at predicting it.


The Detroit Lions completed their offseason training program last week with a mandatory minicamp. Now, the Lions have the next month or so off. They will once again gather in Allen Park as a team for training camp starting at the end of July. Many players will be battling for starting spots, and even more players will be battling to simply make the team.

This year especially, the Lions are going to have some tough decisions to make when it comes to getting down to 53 players after the preseason. I found that out when assembling my latest 53-man roster prediction. There were some really tough calls to make, especially with training camp and the preseason still to come. I fully expect this to change quite a bit in the coming months, but here's my best guess at the Lions' 53-man roster coming out of last week's minicamp (my picks to make the team are in bold and underlined):

QB Matthew Stafford
QB Shaun Hill
QB Thaddeus Lewis

QB Kellen Moore

RB Reggie Bush
RB Mikel Leshoure
RB Joique Bell

RB Montell Owens

RB Theo Riddick
RB Steven Miller
RB Jahvid Best (PUP list)

FB Shaun Chapas

WR Calvin Johnson
WR Nate Burleson
WR Ryan Broyles

WR Patrick Edwards
WR Corey Fuller
WR Micheal Spurlock

WR Mike Thomas
WR Kris Durham
WR Brian Robiskie
WR Devin Thomas
WR Matt Willis
WR Terrence Austin
WR Cody Wilson
TE Brandon Pettigrew
TE Tony Scheffler
TE Michael Williams

TE Joseph Fauria
TE Dominique Curry

OT Riley Reiff
OT Corey Hilliard
OT Jason Fox
OT LaAdrian Waddle

OT Austin Holtz

OG Rob Sims
OG Larry Warford
OG Rodney Austin

OG Bill Nagy
OG Dylan Gandy
OG Jake Scott
OG Derek Hardman
OG Darren Keyton

C Dominic Raiola
C Leroy Harris
DE Ziggy Ansah
DE Jason Jones
DE Willie Young
DE Devin Taylor
DE Ronnell Lewis
DE Freddie Bishop
DE Braylon Broughton

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

DT Jimmy Saddler-McQueen
DT Spencer Nealy

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

LB Brandon Hepburn
LB Carmen Messina
LB Cory Greenwood
LB Jon Morgan
LB Alex Elkins
CB Chris Houston
CB Ron Bartell
CB Darius Slay
CB Bill Bentley
CB Jonte Green
CB Chris Greenwood

CB Ross Weaver
CB D.J. Johnson
CB DeQuan Menzie

S Glover Quin
S Louis Delmas
S Don Carey

S Amari Spievey
S John Wendling
S Ricardo Silva
S Tyrell Johnson
S Martavius Neloms

K David Akers
K Havard Rugland

P Sam Martin
P Blake Clingan

LS Don Muhlbach
  • While Kellen Moore has reportedly improved his arm strength, I like that Thaddeus Lewis has already made a start in the NFL and did quite well in that game. This battle will ultimately come down to what happens in the preseason, but I'm giving Lewis a slight edge right now.
  • Because there is so much uncertainty at running back, wide receiver and tight end, I ended up cutting three players that I would've liked to keep on the 53-man roster. Theo Riddick, Mike Thomas and Joseph Fauria all made my initial cut, but when I rearranged things to account for special teams and not overloading certain positions, those three ended up on the outside looking in.
  • Since I have Patrick Edwards making the team, it's safe to say I'm buying the hype he's received from some of his teammates at wide receiver this offseason.
  • Staying at wide receiver, I expect Micheal Spurlock to make the team as the Lions' starting return man.
  • Given the contract the Lions handed out to Leroy Harris, I'd be surprised if he isn't on the 53-man roster. I have him as the main backup at offensive guard and center, and I have Bill Nagy not making the team as a result. Considering Nagy is still recovering from the ankle surgery he had last summer, I just don't have much faith in his health going into training camp.
  • The Lions have never had fewer than nine defensive linemen on their initial 53-man roster in the Jim Schwartz era, but I have them going with only eight this year, at least to start the season. The reason for this is because the last spot on defense for me came down to Ronnell Lewis and John Wendling. I just don't expect much right now out of Lewis at defensive end, and Wendling is clearly the better player on special teams. Also, considering there are questions about the health of Louis Delmas' knees, I think it'd be worthwhile for the Lions to keep an extra safety.
  • Part of the reason it was so tough to find an extra spot for a safety is because I have six cornerbacks making the team. That could end up being one too many, but who do you cut out of a group that includes Chris Houston, Ron Bartell, Darius Slay, Bill Bentley, Jonte Green and Chris Greenwood? I suppose Greenwood would be the first to go if he has a rough camp, but given what Bartell recently said about him, I'd be surprised if the Lions decided to release him.

What does your 53-man roster look like right now for the Lions?

(Previously: Post-draft prediction)

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