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Evaluating the Lions roster: Offense

The Detroit Lions have established their 2014 roster. Let's take an in-depth, position-by-position look at the offense.

Gregory Shamus

The Detroit Lions have established their 53-man roster for the 2014 regular season. Let's examine each position on offense by breaking down who made the team.

Quarterback (3): Matthew Stafford, Dan Orlovsky, Kellen Moore

All summer, it looked like only two quarterbacks were going to make the Lions' 53-man roster. In the end, though, Kellen Moore played his way on to the team and the Lions went with three QBs. I personally think cutting Dan Orlovsky and making Moore the backup would have made much more sense, but clearly the Lions feel Orlovsky is better suited for that role. In any case, the hope is that the backup quarterback conversation will end up being completely irrelevant, because that would mean that Matthew Stafford stayed healthy all season.

Running back (3): Reggie Bush, Joique Bell, Theo Riddick

The top three at this position turned out to be the only three players to make the roster at running back. Reggie Bush and Joique Bell are basically co-starters at this point, with Bush serving as the big-play threat and Bell serving as more of a grind-out-the-tough-yards back. Theo Riddick's exact role is still unclear, but he should get several snaps a game both as a runner and a receiver.

Fullback (2): Jed Collins, Montell Owens

Yes, the Lions decided to keep two fullbacks, but there's a bit of a misconception here. Jed Collins is the traditional blocking fullback, and he will likely be the main guy at that position when a fullback is needed. Montell Owens is not what you would call a traditional fullback. He's still actually listed as a running back on the Lions roster, but he's at fullback on the depth chart. He can play both positions, and he's also an excellent special teams player. The Lions may have kept two fullbacks on paper, but in reality Owens is a more versatile player than that.

Wide receiver (6): Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Kevin Ogletree, Jeremy Ross, Ryan Broyles, Corey Fuller

Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate are the Lions' starters here, and Jeremy Ross will likely make his biggest contributions by returning kicks and punts. On offense, Kevin Ogletree and Ryan Broyles both should have some kind of a role. Broyles in particular seems like he could really contribute in the slot after a stellar preseason. Corey Fuller also had a pretty stellar preseason, but barring injuries, he will probably be a regular on the inactives list.

Tight end (3): Brandon Pettigrew, Joseph Fauria, Eric Ebron

The Lions have a lot of talent at this position, especially with Joseph Fauria's blocking improving so much since last season. He can play on the line, out wide and in the slot, as can first-round pick Eric Ebron, who lined up all over the field in the preseason. Brandon Pettigrew, meanwhile, will likely mainly serve as the Lions' traditional tight end who lines up with his hand in the dirt, and he may actually benefit from a somewhat reduced role in the passing game.

Offensive tackle (4): Riley Reiff, LaAdrian Waddle, Corey Hilliard, Cornelius Lucas

It appears that LaAdrian Waddle has won the battle for the right tackle job, meaning the Lions have the same starters from last season. Riley Reiff is still the starter on the left side, and Corey Hilliard will serve as the Lions' top backup at offensive tackle. Behind him is undrafted free agent Cornelius Lucas, who won the fourth spot at the position.

Offensive guard (2): Rob Sims, Larry Warford

The Lions surprisingly elected to go with only two offensive guards on their roster. They could always add a third guard later on, of course, but they're going into the season with only their starters at the position. This means that the Lions really need Rob Sims and Larry Warford to stay healthy.

Center (2): Dominic Raiola, Travis Swanson

At center, the Lions have starter Dominic Raiola and backup Travis Swanson, who is being groomed to eventually take over the starting job. This year, Swanson will be the top backup at center, and he will also serve as the top backup for both guard positions unless the Lions add another interior lineman to their 53-man roster.

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