When the Lions were booed off the field at a 25-0 halftime, many of you probably turned off your televisions or switched to a college game. We here at Pride of Detroit, we go the extra mile. We watched the entire game, so you didn’t have to. We don’t do it for praise, we’re just that dedicated to giving you the best Lions coverage and...are you still reading this? Maybe you did watch the whole game. Anyway, here’s the final preseason stock report, now keep in mind that this is all in the context of the 4th preseason game, many of these guys will still be out of a job in a few days even if they played well.
Stock Up: DeShawn Shead, CB
Nevin Lawson and Darius Slay took turns against the Buccaneers trying to look as bad as they could. DeShawn Shead hasn’t been playing much due to an unknown injury, but now that he’s back in the lineup there’s renewed hope they won’t stink up the football field in the secondary. Shead looked comfortable and aggressive both in coverage and against the run, traits this team is going to need with that front 7.
Stock Down: Anthony Zettel, DE
Anthony Zettel seemed to play every single snap in the first half of the fourth preseason. At first, we were left questioning why, as this often means a roster spot is in jeopardy. Then the run plays started and we were reminded of why. Zettel is absolutely dreadful setting the edge, the Lions run defense banjaxed every time a running back ends up in Zettel’s vicinity. It’s not very likely he’s on the chopping block, but while we were thinking Abdullah was going to be showcased for trade it may have been Zettel. A showcase he’d probably like back.
Stock Up: Eli Harold, LB
Eli Harold was brought in to add a run defense element the team lacked on the edge, and we waited in anticipation to see a linebacker shed a block to make a tackle. Sure enough, Harold did just that, showing that he can be the edge setter we haven’t seen from other Lions defenders. His pass rush wasn’t as impressive, but for what he was brought in to do, he did well, and should have locked in his roster spot.
Stock Down: Jonathan Freeney, LB
I had imagined Freeney a lock for the roster with how the team has been using him this preseason, though not very high on the depth chart. Freeney did everything in his power against the Browns to make his case for another team’s roster, with penalties, terrible coverage, and poor run angles. He was the worst linebacker on the field for either team, and it may be an instance of playing yourself off a roster rather than playing your way on.
Stock Up: Mike Ford, CB
In one of the sloppiest, poorly played games in quite a while, it seemed like nobody was really fighting for their job. Mike Ford, on the other hand, was working his tail off trying to show he’s worth a roster spot. Both in coverage and as a tackler, Ford was flashing later in the game. He’s a long shot to make the roster due to the depth at the position, but he’s not going to be an easy cut and stash, either.
Stock Down: Brandon Powell, WR
After an impressive preseason, Powell looked like he may be closing in on a roster spot. Leading the team in receiving and showing impressive return skills, a strong showing may have made the decision tough for Bob Quinn even with a limited role on the team for game days. As it is, Powell was done no favors by Jake Rudock, but failed to establish himself even when other receivers started showing out. His lack of speed showed up on a few returns as well, and his previous spark seems to have fizzled badly in the final presason contest.
Ameer Abdullah, RB - Abdullah didn’t play in this one, which is as sure a sign as any that he’s either already on the roster or a trade partner is already found.
Jace Billingsley, WR - Billingsley has been supplanted for the most part in Detroit, but he flashed at times in this one enough to put other teams on notice.
Freddie Bishop, LB - Bishop has tapered off in play since he first burst on the scene here, but it was a good ending to his time in Detroit if he doesn’t make the roster.
Tyrell Crosby, OT - Crosby was the only ‘starting’ offensive lineman that consistently looked good, and is likely entering the season the top reserve for the team.
Josh Fatu, NT - It may have taken three and a half full preseason games to finally show up, but Fatu finally made a play that may help his practice squad chances.
Dontez Ford, WR - Ford often struggles to separate and isn’t an explosive athlete, but he’s very tough to take down when he gets the ball and he flashed in this one.
Cam Johnson, LB - Johnson hasn’t looked good this preseason, but he wasn’t terrible in this one. Sadly for fans, that may be enough to make the roster. Good for Johnson, though.
Marcus Lucas, TE - Lucas was a no show for most of the game but had a boss of a block on the late Jake Rudock run near the end zone.
Dwayne Washington, RB - Having barely played this preseason, and even then as the final RB on the roster, Washington is out of here. But he did well auditioning for another squad.
Alex Barrett, LB/DE - Barrett has slowly lost ground every time the team saw action, and playing late in the 4th preseason game that trend continued.
Trevor Bates, LB - Bates was a long shot to make the roster, but missing plays in the run game like he did in this one are not how you make your case.
Wesley Johnson, IOL - Johnson has been one of the worst offensive linemen this preseason and this kind of game is not a way to make up that lost ground.
Chris Jones, CB - Jones had an outside chance to make this roster, but his performance against the Browns all but ensured his spot is probably on the practice squad.
Leo Koloamatangi, OC - Koloamatangi has had a good preseason, but this was not a good way to end it. Like badly missing the final note of an opera, it’s all you’ll remember.
Brian Mihalik, OT - If there were ever any doubt that Mihalik wasn’t making the roster, he dispelled those doubts in this one.
Rolan Milligan, SS - Was bad. Then got hurt.
Sterling Moore, CB - Moore didn’t get much work that I saw until late in the game. That’s not how you use guys you’re evaluating for actual work, even though he had a nice pass breakup in the 3rd quarter.
Teo Redding, WR - Redding got some play as a returner and did poorly. He’s likely headed to the practice squad, in part due to plays like his leaping grab through defensive pass interference late in the game. Get him a QB who can throw.
Christian Ringo, DT - Ringo has been moved around a bit while the Lions tried to find a good fit for him. That fit is likely somewhere else.
A’Shawn Robinson, DT - Playing into the 4th preseason as a former starter is a bad sign. Failing to play well against that kind of competition as a former starter is damning.
Jake Rudock, QB - Rudock was already pretty well edged out as the QB2 in Detroit, but getting benched in the 4th preseason game is a whole new level of bad. He had a bit of a late game surge, but it was too little, too late.
Teez Tabor, CB - Tabor playing into the 4th preseason game wasn’t surprising, as he needed it. Playing as inconsistently as he did is a bad sign for his usage in 2018.
Zach Zenner, RB - Wasn’t good, then got hurt and had to leave.
Well, it was a pretty gross game overall. Normally in the last preseason game we get to see guys playing for their spots the following season as much as trying to find a spot on the current roster, but almost nobody in this one looks like they want to be on an NFL roster. But hey, maybe I’m wrong. What do you think of our final preseason stock report? Too harsh on some, let others slide? Let us know in the comments, if you aren’t already down there angrily posting about someone you felt I got wrong!