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Detroit Lions 2017 Bubble Watch: Pre-training camp edition

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Predicting which Lions bubble players will end up making the final 53-man roster.

NFL: Detroit Lions-Training Camp Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions aren’t required to cut down their current 90-man roster down to 53 for another month or so. With training camp around the corner and the preseason just over two weeks away, players will have the next six weeks to impress their coaches.

Throughout the entire process, we’re going to be keeping a close eye on the players on the roster bubble. Just like last year, nine of our staff members will give their opinions on which players on the roster bubble will make the roster and which will not.

Though the battles haven’t started yet, we have a pretty good idea of who will be toeing the line between roster finalist and free agent. So without further ado, here is our first installment of the 2017 Detroit Lions bubble watch.

2017 Bubble Watch - Offense

POD Staffer QB Jake Rudock QB Brad Kaaya RB Dwayne Washington RB Matt Asiata WR Jace Billingsley WR TJ Jones WR Jared Abbrederis WR Keshawn Martin TE Cole Wick TE Tim Wright T Storm Norton OT Cornelius Lucas
POD Staffer QB Jake Rudock QB Brad Kaaya RB Dwayne Washington RB Matt Asiata WR Jace Billingsley WR TJ Jones WR Jared Abbrederis WR Keshawn Martin TE Cole Wick TE Tim Wright T Storm Norton OT Cornelius Lucas
Jeremy Reisman In Out Out In Out In Out Out In Out Out Out
Alex Reno In Out Out In Out Out Out In In Out Out In
Kent Lee Platte In Out In Out In In Out Out In Out Out In
Chris Lemieux In Out Out In Out In Out Out Out In In Out
Justin Simon In Out In Out Out In Out Out Out In Out In
Mike Payton In Out Out In In In Out Out Out In In Out
Andrew Kato In Out Out In Out In Out Out Out In Out In
Ryan Mathews In Out :( In Out Out In Out In Out In Out In
Kyle Yost In Out Out In Out In Out Out Out In Out In
Change 0 -1 2 -2 -1 0 -2 N/A 2 N/A 0 1

When it comes to backup quarterbacking, there isn’t much doubt among the Pride Of Detroit staff. Jake Rudock is in. However, there is disagreement as to whether Detroit will keep Brad Kaaya as a third quarterback. Three of eight staffers (Chris abstained) believe the Lions will keep all three quarterbacks, while five think Kaaya will be gone.

There is similar disagreement when it comes to the No. 4 running back spot. Five believe Matt Asiata will win that job, while four think Dwayne Washington will hold onto that spot.

Wide receiver predictions are all over the place. The one thing everyone seems to agree on is that there isn’t enough room on the roster for both Jace Billingsley and TJ Jones. Currently, five have Jace in, four have TJ in. What’s more interesting, however, is that four staffers have the Lions keeping a fifth receiver in Jared Abbrederis. Abbrederis had a few impressive practices in OTAs and minicamp. We’ll see if he can continue that upward momentum in training camp.

At offensive tackle, there is a big battle brewing for the starting left tackle job. However, there isn’t much disagreement at the bottom of that depth chart. All but one member of the staff believe that Cornelius Lucas is on his way out.

2017 Bubble Watch - Defense

POD Staffer DE Brandon Copeland DE Jeremiah Valoaga DT Khyri Thornton DT/DE Jeremiah Ledbetter CB DJ Hayden CB Johnson Bademosi CB Quandre Diggs CB Jamal Agnew S Don Carey S Alex Carter
POD Staffer DE Brandon Copeland DE Jeremiah Valoaga DT Khyri Thornton DT/DE Jeremiah Ledbetter CB DJ Hayden CB Johnson Bademosi CB Quandre Diggs CB Jamal Agnew S Don Carey S Alex Carter
Jeremy Reisman In Out Out In In In Out In Out In
Alex Reno In In Out In In In Out In Out In
Kent Lee Platte Out In Out In In Out Out In Out In
Chris Lemieux Out In Out In Out In Out In Out In
Justin Simon Out In Out In In Out In In Out In
Mike Payton In Out Out In In In Out In Out In
Andrew Kato Out In Out In In In Out In In In
Ryan Mathews In In Out In In Out Out In In Out
Kyle Yost In In Out In In In Out In In In
Change -2 N/A 0 0 N/A -2 -1 0 -5 2

There’s a lot of unknowns along the Lions defensive line. Besides there not being clear starters at a few positions, the suspensions of Armonty Bryant and Khyri Thornton further complicate how the final 53-man roster may look. Remember, that both Bryant and Thornton could start the season on the suspended list, freeing up a spot for players lower on the depth chart.

That may explain why mostly everyone has both Brandon Copeland and Anthony Zettel making the final roster. On the other hand, only three PODers believe Thornton will survive the roster long enough to serve his suspension.

The main disagreement comes in the secondary. Quandre Diggs, who could get pushed down on the roster by free agent signing DJ Hayden and fifth-round draft pick Jamal Agnew, is firmly on the bubble. Three currently have him on the outside. Alex Carter, who is in the midst of transitioning to safety, has garnered even less confidence by our staff. Five of us have Carter on the cut list this year.


We will revisit these predictions in a week to see how a few practices have affected their status on the bubble. For now, what do you think of our predictions?