clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How the Lions assembled their 53-man roster

New, comments

A look at how the Detroit Lions acquired each player on their 53-man roster.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions' initial 53-man roster for the 2014 season is now in place. How exactly did it come together? Check out the table below.

Pos. Player Age Signed through Acquired
QB Matthew Stafford 26 2017 2009: Drafted 1st overall (1st round)

Dan Orlovsky 31 2014 2014: Signed as free agent

Kellen Moore 25 2014 2012: Signed as undrafted free agent
RB Reggie Bush 29 2016 2013: Signed as free agent

Joique Bell 28 2016 2011: Signed as free agent (off Saints practice squad)

Theo Riddick 23 2016 2013: Drafted 199th overall (6th round)
FB Jed Collins 28 2014 2014: Signed as free agent

Montell Owens 30 2014 2013: Signed as free agent
WR Calvin Johnson 28 2019 2007: Drafted 2nd overall (1st round)

Golden Tate 26 2018 2014: Signed as free agent

Kevin Ogletree 27 2014 2013: Signed as free agent

Ryan Broyles 26 2015 2012: Drafted 54th overall (2nd round)

Jeremy Ross 26 2014 2013: Signed as free agent (off Lions practice squad)

Corey Fuller 24 2015 2013: Drafted 171st overall (6th round)
TE Brandon Pettigrew 29 2017 2009: Drafted 20th overall (1st round)

Joseph Fauria 24 2015 2013: Signed as undrafted free agent

Eric Ebron 21 2017 + team option
2014: Drafted 10th overall (1st round)
OT Riley Reiff 25 2015 + team option 2012: Drafted 23rd overall (1st round)

LaAdrian Waddle 23 2015 2013: Signed as undrafted free agent

Corey Hilliard 29 2014 2009: Signed as free agent (off Browns practice squad)

Cornelius Lucas 23 2016 2014: Signed as undrafted free agent
OG Rob Sims 30 2014 2010: Traded from Seahawks

Larry Warford 23 2016 2013: Drafted 65th overall (3rd round)
C Dominic Raiola 35 2014 2001: Drafted 50th overall (2nd round)

Travis Swanson 23 2017 2014: Drafted 76th overall (3rd round)
DE Ziggy Ansah 25 2016 + team option 2013: Drafted 5th overall (1st round)

Jason Jones 28 2015 2013: Signed as free agent

Devin Taylor 24 2016 2013: Drafted 132nd overall (4th round)

Larry Webster 24 2017 2014: Drafted 136th overall (4th round)

George Johnson 26 2014 2014: Signed as free agent
DT Ndamukong Suh 27 2014 + player option 2010: Drafted 2nd overall (1st round)

C.J. Mosley 31 2014 2013: Signed as free agent

Nick Fairley 26 2014 2011: Drafted 13th overall (1st round)

Caraun Reid 22 2017 2014: Drafted 158th overall (5th round)
LB DeAndre Levy 27 2015 2009: Drafted 76th overall (3rd round)

Stephen Tulloch 29 2016 2011: Signed as free agent

Tahir Whitehead 24 2015 2012: Drafted 138th overall (5th round)

Kyle Van Noy 23 2017 2014: Drafted 40th overall (2nd round)

Ashlee Palmer 28 2014 2010: Claimed off waivers (from Bills)

Travis Lewis 26 2015 2012: Drafted 223rd overall (7th round)
CB Darius Slay 23 2016 2013: Drafted 36th overall (2nd round)

Rashean Mathis 34 2014 2013: Signed as free agent

Bill Bentley 25 2015 2012: Drafted 85th overall (3rd round)

Cassius Vaughn 26 2014 2014: Signed as free agent

Nevin Lawson 23 2017 2014: Drafted 133rd overall (4th round)
S Glover Quin 28 2017 2013: Signed as free agent

James Ihedigbo 30 2015 2014: Signed as free agent

Don Carey 27 2016 2012: Signed as free agent

Isa Abdul-Quddus 25 2014 2014: Claimed off waivers (from Saints)

Jerome Couplin 23 2016 2014: Signed as undrafted free agent
K Nate Freese 24 2017 2014: Drafted 229th overall (7th round)
P Sam Martin 24 2016 2013: Drafted 137th overall (5th round)
LS Don Muhlbach 33 2014 2004: Signed as free agent

Currently, the Lions have 25 players on offense, 25 on defense and three on special teams. Overall, 26 players joined the team as draft picks of the Lions (not including Dan Orlovsky, who is on his second stint after signing as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason). 16 players joined as free agents, meanwhile, and five joined as undrafted free agents. Also, two of the Lions' players were claimed off waivers, one was acquired via a trade and three were signed off of practice squads.

Going into the 2014 season, Dominic Raiola is the Lions' oldest player at 35 years old. He's just ahead of Rashean Mathis (34) and Don Muhlbach (33). At the other end of the spectrum, Eric Ebron is the Lions' youngest player at 21 years old, and the Lions have 23 total players who are 25 or younger. Only eight players are 30 or older. (The Lions' average age is around 26.4.)

Finally, here's the year-by-year breakdown of when the Lions acquired their 53 players:

2014: 16
2013: 17
2012: 7
2011: 3
2010: 3
2009: 4
2007: 1
2004: 1
2001: 1

Amazingly, 33 of the Lions' players weren't even on the team before last year. That says a lot about how much turnover there is in the NFL, and it also says a lot about who the Lions have added in the last couple years. Case in point: Of the Lions' 17 draft picks from 2013 and 2014, 14 are on their 53-man roster, and two others are still with the team in other capacities (one is on the practice squad and one is on the PUP list). Only Brandon Hepburn is completely gone from the Lions.

It's also important to note that four undrafted free agents have made the Lions in the last two years. Between that and their draft numbers from 2013 and 2014, the Lions have seemingly improved quite a bit in the scouting department as of late. If they can continue to do this on a yearly basis going forward, perhaps they will finally be on the path to becoming a perennial contender.