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Final Detroit Lions 53-man roster prediction

I take one last crack at predicting the Detroit Lions final 53-man roster.

Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

With the Detroit Lions' final preseason game now in the books, the last step towards the regular season is finalizing the 53-man roster for Week 1. That means cuts are coming. Here's my predictions for the final round of cuts and the "finalized" roster. (Remember, nearly every year additional cuts are made and teams pick up other teams' released players.)

QB Matthew Stafford
QB Dan Orlovsky
QB Kellen Moore

RB Joique Bell
RB Ameer Abdullah
RB Theo Riddick
RB Zach Zenner

RB George Winn

FB Michael Burton
FB Emil Igwenagu

WR Calvin Johnson
WR Golden Tate
WR Lance Moore
WR Corey Fuller
WR Jeremy Ross

WR TJ Jones
WR Greg Salas

TE Eric Ebron
TE Brandon Pettigrew
TE Tim Wright

TE Joseph Fauria
TE Casey Pierce

OT Riley Reiff
OT LaAdrian Waddle
OT Cornelius Lucas

OT Corey Robinson
OT Xavier Proctor

OG Laken Tomlinson
OG Larry Warford
OG Manny Ramirez
OG Torrian Wilson
OG Al Bond

C Travis Swanson
C Taylor Boggs
C Joe Madsen
C Braxston Cave
DE Ezekiel Ansah
DE Jason Jones
DE Darryl Tapp
DE Devin Taylor
DE Phillip Hunt
DE Corey Wootton
DE Larry Webster

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

DT Jermelle Cudjo
DT Kerry Hyder
DT Jerel Worthy

LB DeAndre Levy
LB Stephen Tulloch
LB Tahir Whitehead
LB Josh Bynes
LB Travis Lewis

LB Kyle Van Noy
LB Julian Stanford
LB Brandon Copeland
CB Darius Slay
CB Rashean Mathis
CB Nevin Lawson
CB Josh Wilson

CB Quandre Diggs
CB Alex Carter
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

P Sam Martin

LS Don Muhlbach

What changed?

Zach Zenner in, George Winn out - Yes, I finally gave in. I am the last passenger aboard the Zach Zenner Hype Train. His performance this preseason -- as unlikely as it was -- was too much to ignore. Zenner beat Winn in every phase of the game, and even improved on special teams as each week progressed. Zenner absolutely deserves a roster spot.

Tim Wright in, Joseph Fauria out - The writing was on the wall for Fauria when the Lions traded for Wright earlier in the week. The Lions didn't play Wright much during the final preseason game, but that tells me they've already made up their mind.

Kyle Van Noy in, Julian Stanford out - Van Noy surprised me not only by returning to practice this week, but by looking decent in the final preseason game. Van Noy not only legitimized his spot on the roster, but he also put in an argument for some playing time. Unless there's a setback with his injury overnight, Van Noy has made the team.

Phillip Hunt in, Larry Webster out - Hunt sacked the quarterback once in the final preseason game, and was the most consistent player throughout the entire preseason. Hunt looks hungry and finally fully recovered from an ACL tear two years ago. Webster failed to impress throughout the entire preseason.

Close calls

TJ Jones - Jones made a valiant effort in the final preseason game to claim a roster spot. However, he just didn't do it consistently enough. While Jeremy Ross wasn't exactly electric either, he displayed some receiver skills earlier in the preseason, and the coaches just seem to trust him a little more. I would probably give the edge to Jones, but I get the feeling the Lions will not.

Joseph Fauria - Although I have Fauria losing to newly acquired Wright, I was very close to giving Fauria a roster spot in place of Kellen Moore. Even though Moore was competent in the Lions' preseason finale, I just don't see him being worthy of a roster spot. Jones and Fauria, however, could actually make contributions to this team. But, ultimately, I have seen zero signs from the Lions front office that indicate they're willing to play with just two quarterbacks.