The Lions have a few months to dwindle their roster down to 53 players from the 90 it currently sits at, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a stab at it right now.
Today we’ll be taking a look at the offense. At first glance, this offense seems absolutely loaded. Seemingly every position has a starting-caliber player, even if unproven. Barring injuries this offense could be deadly.
Avoiding injuries – especially to key players – is tough. We’ve seen what this offense looked like without it’s most important player for the majority of last season. It wasn’t pretty.
However, if they can stay relatively healthy, I believe that this offensive roster looks deep enough to carry the team to the playoffs.
IN: Matthew Stafford, Chase Daniel
OUT: David Blough (PS)
Analysis: I could definitely see the Lions keeping all 3 QBs here as Blough is a developmental backup, but there are other positions that are more important. Blough should clear waivers and be added to the practice squad.
Running backs (5):
IN: Kerryon Johnson, D’Andre Swift, Bo Scarbrough, Ty Johnson, Nick Bawden (FB)
Out: Jason Huntley (PS), Wes Hills, Luke Sellers (FB)
Analysis: No real question on the top 3. Johnson & Swift will be your 1-2 punch for the next couple of years and Bo will be the pounder between the hashes. The debate that will be had from now until cut day will be between Ty Johnson and Jason Huntley.
This is tough as the team sunk decent draft capital into Huntley with their 5th round pick, but Ty Johnson has the slight edge for me right now. He’s got a year of scheme familiarity on Huntley, showed some flashes in his rookie year, and is only going to get better. Huntley, coming from a small school, has a big jump ahead of him as he transitions to the NFL. I think he has a better chance of clearing waivers and signing back with the team on the PS.
Tight Ends (3):
IN: T.J. Hockenson, Jesse James, Isaac Nauta
OUT: Hunter Bryant (PS), Matt Sokol
Analysis: The TE group is cut and dry for me. I can’t see Hunter Bryant overtaking Nauta in year 1, but a season in the practice squad might do it.
Wide Receivers (6):
IN: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola, Quintez Cephus, Marvin Hall, Travis Fulgham
OUT: Chris Lacy (PS), Geronimo Allison, Tom Kennedy, Geremy Davis, Victor Bolden
Analysis: I think the Lions go 6 deep here at WR. The top 4 are clearly set with not much wiggle room, but the last 2 spots are wide open. If they were to keep only 5 receivers I would give Hall the nod over Fulgham, but I believe they end up keeping both. Fulgham has serious potential at 6-3, 215lbs while posting a RAS score of 8.01. He’s not the fastest WR, but he has the size to make some plays.
Chris Lacy is slightly more proven than Fulgham but he gets the boot here anyways. I like Lacy, probably more than most, but I have a feeling Fulgham will show out in training camp/preseason.
IN: Taylor Decker, Halapolivaati Vaitai, Tyrell Crosby, Kenny Wiggins*
OUT: Matt Nelson, Dan Skipper
Analysis: It’s hard to classify who will be the backup tackles when this team likes versatility so much. Wiggins is more of an inside guy, but I suspect he’d be the first “backup” to step in at tackle in an emergency situation.
IN: Jonah Jackson, Joe Dahl, Logan Stenberg, Joshua Garnett
OUT: Beau Benzchawel (PS), Oday Aboushi, Caleb Benenoch
Analysis: Surprise! Former first-round pick Joshua Garnett makes the cut over fan-favorite Beau Benzchawel. This was a really hard decision to make, but I am secretly a Garnett fan-boy. I think he has the strongest potential out of the other options, and I trust him to spot start over Aboushi & Benzchawel. I truly believe can figure it out here in Detroit and grow into a respectable player.
IN: Frank Ragnow
OUT: Russell Bodine
Analysis: No questions here. Ragnow is one of the best young centers in the game and will be the catalyst for this offensive line for years to come. Wiggins, Dahl, or Garnett will fill in here if needed.