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Lions roster cuts: Evaluating the first round of moves

After making 15 moves, the Detroit Lions are now down to 75 players. Let's examine who was let go in the first round of roster cuts.

Al Messerschmidt

The first round of roster cuts is complete for the Detroit Lions. They've gone from 90 to 75 players by making 15 moves, and below is a look at each player who was involved in the first round of cuts.

QB James Franklin - After joining the Lions as an undrafted free agent, Franklin was viewed as someone who could potentially push Kellen Moore for the third spot at quarterback. Franklin never ended up getting any real reps at QB, though, and it appears he's not even in the mix for the practice squad.

RB Steven Miller - Much like last year, Miller was around this summer mainly to provide extra depth at returner. With George Winn and Mikel Leshoure ahead of him at running back and Jeremy Ross locked in as the Lions' starting returner, however, there was simply no reason to keep Miller around with the preseason coming to a close.

FB Chad Abram - Abram was one of the Lions' most intriguing undrafted free agents, but he just couldn't move ahead of Jed Collins and Montell Owens at fullback. It also appears he didn't do enough on special teams considering he didn't even make it to the final round of cuts.

WR TJ Jones (PUP list) - Jones' offseason shoulder surgery forced him to miss all of training camp, and now he's out for at least the first part of the regular season.

WR Conner Vernon - Vernon spent less than two weeks with the Lions after being claimed off waivers. He was never really in the mix to make the team.

OT A.J. Dalton - Like Vernon, Dalton, who joined the Lions as an undrafted free agent, was also never really in the mix to make the team.

OG Alex Bullard - Sensing a theme yet? Bullard was also never really in the mix for a roster spot after joining the Lions as an undrafted free agent.

DE Kris Redding - Redding joined the Lions at the very beginning of training camp, and he was at the bottom of a pretty stacked depth chart at defensive end.

DT Gregory Hickman - Hickman turned a tryout at the Lions' rookie minicamp into a roster spot. However, he was buried on the depth chart at one of the Lions' deepest positions, so his best hope was always just to get into the mix for a spot on the practice squad. With him being let go in the first round of cuts, it looks like he wasn't able to do that.

CB Jonte Green - Green, a sixth-round pick in 2012, seemingly had a good start to training camp this year. It didn't last, though, and Green clearly fell behind fellow 2012 draftee Chris Greenwood in recent weeks. As a result, Green didn't even survive the first round of cuts.

CB Aaron Hester - Hester was even farther down on the depth chart than Green, so it's no surprise he was let go.

CB Drayton Florence - Florence was with the Lions for less than two weeks. At first, it looked like he might provide some veteran depth at cornerback, but the Lions quickly decided that wasn't going to happen.

S DeJon Gomes (IR) - Gomes injured his neck against the Oakland Raiders on a helmet-to-helmet type of hit. It's unclear if this is a long-term injury that will keep Gomes on injured reserve all year or if he will be released in the near future with an injury settlement, but he's no longer in the Lions' plans for 2014.

K Giorgio Tavecchio - Tavecchio may have outperformed Nate Freese in training camp, but he didn't do enough in the preseason for the Lions to release their seventh-round draft pick. That's not exactly a slight on Tavecchio, though. It's clear that this was in fact Freese's job to lose from the very beginning, and it would've taken several in-game misses from Freese for Tavecchio to have a real chance of winning the starting kicker job.

P Drew Butler - Butler was simply a camp body who was signed so Sam Martin didn't have to take all of the punter reps. He was never a real challenger to Martin's starting job.