Last Friday, we all had the opportunity to see the 2016 Detroit Lions for the first time. We put aside all of the practice reports from OTAs, minicamp and the first few weeks of training camp, to make our own observations of the team. No more relying on camp observations or trusting the eyes of others to label players as camp darlings or big disappointments.
Before the preseason game, nine of our staff members gave our best predictions on which bubble players would make the final 53-man roster and which would be on the outside looking in. After the Lions’ preseason matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers, we made some changes. Here are our roster predictions after Week 1 of the preseason:
|QB Jake Rudock||RB Stevan Ridley||RB George Winn||RB Zach Zenner||WR TJ Jones||WR Jeremy Kerley||WR Jay Lee||G Geoff Schwartz||C Gabe Ikard||OT Cornelius Lucas|
|Alex Reno||GET OUT||IN||OUT||IN||IN||OUT||IN||OUT||OUT||IN|
|Kent Lee Platte||OUT||OUT||IN||IN||IN||OUT||IN||OUT||OUT||IN|
|Chris Lemieux||NO, BAD DOG, OUT||IN||OUT||FINE, IN||IN||OUT||OUT||IN||OUT||OUT|
Despite Jake Rudock's impressive statistical output in his debut, only one staff member has Rudock making the team's final roster. However, the running back competition has been muddied after Friday's game. Stevan Ridley was a unanimous "in" two weeks ago, but after being delegated to third or even fourth string in the game against the Steelers, four Pride Of Detroiters have Ridley no longer making the team. In his place, a few writers have George Winn, while others have Winn out as well.
The Jay Lee hype train has been thoroughly derailed after the wide receiver failed to get even one pass thrown his way, despite playing nearly 30 percent of offensive snaps on Friday. Lee had four believers in our first Bubble Watch, but Chris Lemieux dropped out this week after Lee's no-show.
The biggest change, however, came at the feet of Lions center Gabe Ikard. Just two weeks ago, Ikard was taking snaps with the first and second team offenses, resulting in eight of nine staffers predicting him to make the team. Now that Graham Glasgow has apparently surpassed Ikard in the depth chart (though not officially), Ikard is a unanimous "out."
|DT Gabe Wright||DT Stefan Charles||DT Khyri Thornton||DE Anthony Zettel||LB Khaseem Greene||LB Antwione Williams||CB Alex Carter||CB Crezdon Butler||CB Darrin Walls|
|Kent Lee Platte||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||OUT||OUT||IN|
I'm not sure when it happened, but somewhere in the last two weeks, Stefan Charles was put into the POD doghouse. Five of nine staffers had him as an "in" last time, but now just two do. As a result, second-year defensive tackle Gabe Wright moved from a split decision to a unanimous "in" among Pride Of Detroit. Perhaps it was also the rise of Khyri Thornton, who wasn't even considered on the previous edition of Bubble Watch, that had the staff down on Charles. Thornton is a near unanimous choice, and out of nowhere.
Elsewhere, the mounting injuries at linebacker have pushed Antwione Williams, who received just four votes last time, into a near-lock for the final 53. Khaseem Greene even has some believers, and it's easy to see why. The Lions' injury situation is that bad.
As the reports of poor play continue to emerge for Alex Carter, the confidence in the second-year cornerback has been completely sucked out of the Pride Of Detroit staff. Carter was a unanimous "in" last time, and now only Justin Simon has a spot for him on the final 53.
|Jimmy Landes or Don Muhlbach?|
|Jeremy Reisman||Don Mulhbach|
|Alex Reno||Jimmy Landes|
|Kent Lee Platte||Jimmy Landes|
|Chris Lemieux||Muldozertron 9000|
|Justin Simon||Jimmy Landes|
|Mike Payton||Donny Long Snappins|
|Andrew Kato||Jimmy Landes|
|Ryan Mathews||Don Muhlbach|
|Kyle Yost||Jimmy Landes|
Only Chris Lemieux has budged from his stance on the long snapper battle. The rest of us are either stubbornly ignoring the reality of Muhlbach's impending doom or can't see how much better the veteran player is than the newbie.