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An absurdly early Lions 53-man roster prediction

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With the 2015 NFL Draft in the books, let's take a stab at predicting the Detroit Lions' 53-man roster.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, it's way too early in the offseason to start making predictions about the Detroit Lions' 53-man roster. The Lions haven't even held their rookie minicamp yet, and they still have OTAs, a mandatory minicamp, training camp and the preseason before they have to make a decision about their 53-man roster. In other words, a lot could happen in the coming months.

With all that said, we at least have a general idea about what the Lions' 53-man roster could look like going into the 2015 regular season, so here's our first prediction of the year:

QB Matthew Stafford
QB Dan Orlovsky
QB Kellen Moore
QB Anthony Boone

RB Joique Bell
RB Ameer Abdullah
RB Theo Riddick
RB George Winn
RB Zach Zenner
RB Rasheed Williams

FB Michael Burton
FB Emil Igwenagu

WR Calvin Johnson
WR Golden Tate
WR Jeremy Ross
WR Corey Fuller
WR TJ Jones

WR Ryan Broyles
WR Andrew Peacock
WR Skye Dawson
WR Vernon Johnson
WR Desmond Lawrence
TE Brandon Pettigrew
TE Eric Ebron
TE Joseph Fauria

TE Jordan Thompson
TE Casey Pierce

OT Riley Reiff
OT LaAdrian Waddle
OT Cornelius Lucas
OT Corey Robinson

OT Michael Williams

OG Laken Tomlinson
OG Larry Warford
OG Manny Ramirez

OG Al Bond
OG Torrian Wilson

C Travis Swanson
C Darren Keyton
C Taylor Boggs
C Braxston Cave
DE Ziggy Ansah
DE Jason Jones
DE Darryl Tapp
DE Devin Taylor
DE Larry Webster

DE Phillip Hunt

DT Haloti Ngata
DT Tyrunn Walker
DT Gabe Wright
DT Caraun Reid

DT Jermelle Cudjo
DT Xavier Proctor
DT Roy Philon
DT Kerry Hyder

LB DeAndre Levy
LB Stephen Tulloch
LB Tahir Whitehead
LB Josh Bynes
LB Kyle Van Noy
LB Travis Lewis

LB Julian Stanford
LB Brandon Copeland
LB Jerrell Harris
LB Kevin Snyder
CB Darius Slay
CB Rashean Mathis
CB Alex Carter
CB Bill Bentley
CB Josh Wilson
CB Quandre Diggs

CB Nevin Lawson (PUP list)
CB Mohammed Seisay
CB Crezdon Butler

S Glover Quin
S James Ihedigbo
S Isa Abdul-Quddus
S Don Carey

S Nate Ness
S Isaiah Johnson
S Brian Suite

K Matt Prater
K Kyle Brindza

P Sam Martin

LS Don Muhlbach

On offense, wide receiver and the offensive line were the two toughest position groups to figure out. At wide receiver, for example, I ultimately ended up leaving Ryan Broyles off the roster. If it were up to me, I'd take Broyles and cut Jeremy Ross, but based on the Lions' apparent view of these two players, I just don't think there's room for Broyles going forward. Struggles aside, Ross is still currently the Lions' returner, and I expect TJ Jones to see the field now that he's healthy.

On the offensive line, there are really two spots up for grabs at this point. At offensive tackle, I gave seventh-round pick Corey Robinson the edge over Michael Williams. I could see that going in the other direction, but either way, the player who gets cut will probably end up on the practice squad. Moving inside, I have undrafted free agent Al Bond making the team over Darren Keyton and the other interior linemen. With Manny Ramirez able to serve as a backup at both guard and center, the Lions can simply go with the interior lineman with the highest upside for their final O-line spot, and Bond seems to be that player right now. It wouldn't surprise me if they bring in another veteran as extra depth at some point before training camp, though.

On defense, cornerback was the only position that I really had to think about. That's mainly because the Lions have four nickelbacks and room for likely only three of them, and you can make a strong case for each player. Bill Bentley was the Lions' starting nickelback last year before he got hurt, for example, and Nevin Lawson was set to take over the starting job before he got hurt a week later. Josh Wilson, meanwhile, is a veteran who got an $80,000 signing bonus and $200,000 guaranteed overall to sign with the Lions, and Quandre Diggs is a sixth-round pick with a lot of upside. With no injuries, either Bentley or Wilson (despite the contract he got) would probably be the odd man out, but considering both Bentley and Lawson are coming off season-ending injuries, I could see one of them ending up on the PUP list. Bentley tore his ACL, while Lawson suffered a nasty foot injury. Admittedly, I have no information on how far along either player is in their recovery process, but I could see the Lions creating a spot by going the PUP list route.

If the Lions don't end up going the PUP list route, then they're going to have a really tough decision to make at cornerback. Then again, by the time the preseason arrives and training camp has been underway, perhaps that decision will no longer be quite as tough. One or two of those nickelbacks could separate themselves from the pack once summer arrives, and perhaps a new injury will open up a spot. It's still way too early to tell, but it's always fun to speculate.