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Saturday open thread: Who’s your dark horse pick to make the Detroit Lions roster?

We’ll know by 4 p.m ET on Saturday.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions got over a third of their roster cuts out of the way on Friday, parting ways with 12 different players while placing another on injured reserve.

But that was the easy part.

Saturday is where the Lions are going to have to make some tough choices, like whether to keep Brandon Powell on as a fifth receiver, or deciding how many tight ends to keep on the roster, or figuring out the mess of a situation at offensive line depth.

This has been one of the harder seasons to predict the Lions’ final roster, and there’s bound to be a surprise or two left in Bob Quinn’s arsenal. So today’s Question of the Day is:

Who is a surprise player you think may end up making the roster?

(If you need a reminder of who is still on the roster, check out our Lions cut tracker)

My answer: Linebacker Trevor Bates.

I was the only one who included Bates as an IN in our final Bubble Watch, and I still stand by it.

Granted, Bates played a ton in the preseason finale, which is usually not a great sign for a player trying to make the team, but the same can be said for Jonathan Freeny—a presumed roster spot holder—who played even more than Bates on Thursday.

The Lions are going to keep a fair amount of linebackers on this roster, probably more than many expected. Bates brings prior knowledge to Matt Patricia’s system, having played in New England for over a year. He also has been playing a lot of special teams this preseason. Those are two huge factors that could push him onto the roster as one of the last players in.

Your turn.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.