The first round of cuts saw some interesting developments with the Detroit Lions roster. Several players like Tion Green and Brandon Thomas played their way onto the roster with their preseason performance, while others such as Antwione Williams were surprise releases. The Lions weren’t the only team trimming their rosters, however, and there are now plenty of players on the wire the team could pick up to help strengthen the team’s depth. Here are some of the players the team could pick up on the waiver wire or sign now that they’re on the free market.
Andre Williams, RB - A power back with below-average production doesn’t sound too appealing, but Williams was much more effective when given a little more to work with in San Diego and may be worth a look.
Alex Collins, RB - Collins was well thought of coming out of Arkansas and was a bit of a surprise to be cut by Seattle. He’ll garner interest and the Lions would be wise to peek.
Jeremy McNichols, RB - Projected as high as the first round at one point in 2017, the Bucs’ fifth-round pick disappointed in Tampa but could be picked up if Bob Quinn’s draft profile was favorable.
Brandon Bolden, RB - Bolden is a special teamer and rotational back from New England. Bob Quinn’s familiarity with Bolden may entice him to look, though Green’s upside may be better.
Matt Jones, RB - Fumbles put him in the dog house, but Washington’s Matt Jones may provide value to a team like the Lions if they think they can fix him.
Senquez Golson, CB - The Lions are deep at this position, so this would be surprising. Golson was highly scouted and drafted high in 2015 by the Steelers. He’s only 24 as well.
David Quessenberry, OL - He’d be hard to pry away from Houston, who stood by him during cancer treatment, but he was a favorite of mine years ago, and I selfishly want the Lions to grab him.
Willie Beavers, OL - The former Western Michigan Bronco was pretty bad for Minnesota, who drafted him way too high. The Lions could use OL depth and Beavers is a worthy project.
Alex Boone, OG - Boone was one of the better pass blocking guards for years, but his play fell off enough that the Vikings didn’t think he was worth his pay. He would be an upgrade over Graham Glasgow, who has struggled.
Larry Donnell, TE - It came as a bit of a surprise to many that the Lions chose to keep only three TEs. Larry Donnell never recaptured the success he had in 2014, but as a fourth TE he would add a solid receiving presence in situations that would warrant it.
Jason Croom, TE - Croom would be a bit surprising as a regular roster addition, but the UDFA former college receiver was shown interest during the draft process by the Lions.
Gavin Escobar, TE - Escobar was a huge disappointment of a second-round pick for the Dallas Cowboys in 2013. Bob Quinn seems to have a thing for reclamation projects, so it’s possible they kick the tires.
Josiah Price, TE - The former Spartan would be a shock if called to a regular roster, but with this being more of a roster churn at the bottom he may be worth a look.
Jace Amaro, TE - Amaro can’t block and he hasn’t really been able to catch that well as a pro. He finished his final college season with 106 catches for 1,352 yards and 7 TDs, however, while Bob Quinn was still working for the TE friendly Patriots.
Antwione Williams, LB - Obviously the Lions waived him, but I think Williams is on a short list of guys they’re going to be calling back sooner than later.
Sio Moore, LB - Moore went from showing a ton of promise for the Raiders to being cut and bouncing around because he couldn’t make an impact. He’s an interesting retool, if the Lions see enough that’s fixable.
Elijah Lee, LB - A shocking cut from the Vikings after a shocking slide in the 2017 draft, I’m not sure what the deal is, but I’m jumping.
George Johnson, DE - The former Lions standout has struggled with injuries, but if they’re behind him, he could help here.
Ian Seau, DE - He doesn’t fit their normal profile, but the Lions got to watch Seau wreck their OL depth this week in Buffalo.
Carroll Phillips, DE - Phillips was vastly overhyped for what he really was in the draft, but he has enough talent to be considered for development.
Geneo Grissom, DE - Grissom was a likely trade target at some point, but now that he’s on the market, I expect the Lions to take a look at him.
Devin Taylor, DE - Taylor isn’t very good, we all know that here, but the Lions DL corps is pretty thin so he may be worth looking at again.
Xavier Cooper, DT - I’m surprised he never caught on in Cleveland, but the athletic Xavier Cooper is worth looking at in Detroit.
Caraun Reid, DT - Remember him? The former Lions fifth-round pick is back on the market after being cut in San Diego.
Justin Zimmer, DT - One of the most athletic DT to come out of college in the past twenty years, Zimmer is local and the Lions could look to tap that potential.
Eli Ankou, DL - Ankou is an interesting UDFA who would be a bit redundant as a nose tackle here in Detroit. He has upside and looked good in Houston, however.
Keenan Reynolds, WR - Another selfish hope, the Navy standout was a Heisman snub and deserves another shot in the NFL.
Brandon Reilly, WR - The Lions may have liked what they saw in Reilly as he routinely bested Teez Tabor this week.
Malachi Dupre, WR - Once considered a first-round prospect, Dupre slid to the end of the draft and was cut by the Packers after showing little. It would depend on Quin’s pre-draft evaluation, though.
KD Cannon, WR - The Lions showed pre-draft interest in the speedster, but Cannon has been on multiple teams this offseason and struggled. He’s still worth a look, though.