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Detroit Lions roster bubble watch, Week 3: Offense

A look at the players on offense who are still fighting for a job.

NFL: Detroit Lions Training Camp Detroit Free Press-USA TODAY NET

With the pads coming on last week and the first preseason game ahead later this week, the Detroit Lions roster bubble is starting to shift. We’re getting to know these players a little better, and perhaps more importantly, we’re starting to get real clues as to what the coaching staff thinks of these players.

Of course, injuries shake things up a little bit, as we saw during the Lions’ scrimmage Saturday morning. With plenty of their top receivers out, the Lions gave opportunities to their depth players to make an impression with the first-team offense. And as a result, we saw a small shift in the statuses of the wide receivers on the bubble.

So has anything else from the past week changed our opinion on who is in and who is out for the Lions’ 53-man roster? You betcha. Here are our latest thoughts on the roster bubble players on offense.

Detroit Lions Bubble Watch Week 3: Offense

Player Jeremy Reisman Ryan Mathews Mike Payton Hamza Alex Reno Erik Schlitt John Whiticar Jerry Mallory TOTAL Change from last week
Player Jeremy Reisman Ryan Mathews Mike Payton Hamza Alex Reno Erik Schlitt John Whiticar Jerry Mallory TOTAL Change from last week
QB Tim Boyle IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 8 0
QB David Blough IN OUT IN OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT 2 -3
FB Jason Cabinda IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 8 0
TE Alize Mack OUT IN OUT OUT OUT IN IN OUT 3 -5
TE Hunter Thedford OUT OUT IN IN IN OUT OUT OUT 3 +3
TE Charlie Taumoepeau IN OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT 1 +1
WR Geronimo Allison OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT 0 -2
WR Victor Bolden IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 8 0
WR Quintez Cephus IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 8 0
WR Kalif Raymond IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 8 +2
WR Sage Surratt OUT IN OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT IN 2 +2
OT Dan Skipper OUT OUT IN IN IN OUT OUT IN 4 +3
OT Tyrell Crosby IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 8 0
G Logan Stenberg IN IN OUT IN IN IN IN IN 7 0
G/C Drake Jackson IN OUT OUT OUT IN OUT IN IN 4 -4
C Evan Brown OUT IN OUT IN OUT IN OUT OUT 3 +3

NEW TO BUBBLE WATCH:

TE Charlie Taumoepeau (1 vote): The TE3 race is heating up as Alize Mack’s grasp on the job is not so sure anymore. Detroit’s tight end room made a lot of plays last week, including an impressive grab from Taumoepeau during Saturday’s practice at Ford Field. He’s worked his way up into consideration. Here’s what teammate Darren Fells had to say about him after Saturday’s scrimmage:

“Charlie’s been showing some amazing feats with blocking, coming in the backfield and showing that he can be like a fullback as well.”

OFF THE BUBBLE:

RB Jermar Jefferson (trending up): At this point, I wouldn’t call Jefferson a roster lock, but he’s pretty dang close to it. Jefferson has consistently been repping with the first and second-team offenses, and he doesn’t look out of place at all. Even the weakest part of his game—pass protection—showed some improvement as last week went on.

RB Dedrick Mills (trending down): On the other hand, Mills looks like he’s destined for the practice squad. Maybe it’s too early to declare the running back position completely decided, but it’s hard to imagine much changing from the current setup.

TE Brock Wright (trending down): While the tight end race is heating up, Wright has yet to make much of an impression.

Trending up

TE Hunter Thedford (+3) — With that tight end room heating up, Thedford suddenly has a small group of supporters.

OT Dan Skipper (+3) — With Tyrell Crosby out for at least a week, Skipper has been getting reps with the second team. He’ll have an opportunity to make an impression over the next few practices and the preseason, but I’m not sure keeping Skipper as either a fifth tackle or having him in over a guy like Matt Nelson makes sense yet.

C Evan Brown (+3) — The backup center job is now a lot more interesting with Brown off the Non-Football Injury list now. However, he’s participated in just two padded practices thus far, so it’s hard to get an early read on him.

WR Kalif Raymond (+2) — Raymond continues to be the first player to rep for punt and kick returns, and his explosiveness is easy to see out there. He enters the preseason as the heavy favorite to land the returner job, so it makes sense to see a full consensus here.

WR Sage Surratt (+2) — Yeah, I got nothing here. Not sure why Surratt gained two supporters. It’s an extremely crowded room as is, and Surratt has not made much of a positive impression at camp. Unless the Lions plan on keeping seven receivers, I don’t see how he fits in, especially since we all believe Victor Bolden, Quintez Cephus, and Raymond are in.

Trending down

TE Alize Mack (-5) — This drop seems a bit dramatic for Mack, who still continues to rep above the other reserve tight ends, but it does speak to how competitive that job is right now.

G/C Drake Jackson (-4) — This appears to be a direct reaction to Evan Brown coming off the NFI list on Thursday. UPDATE: Drake Jackson has been waived. Good call, team.

QB David Blough (-3) — As the backup quarterbacks continue to split days as QB2, it appears our staff is beginning to think roster spots would be better used elsewhere than for a third quarterback. Boyle remains ahead in the race, but the gap isn’t as big as you may think.

WR Geronimo Allison (-2) — Allison has had an extremely quiet camp and continues to rep with the third team. For one of the more experienced receivers in camp, that’s not a good thing, and now everyone has him on the outside looking in.