Part One: Offensive Projection (Spots filled: 24 - Remaining: 29)
Defensive Line (10)
- RDE Dewayne White (6-2, 273), Cliff Avril (6-3, 252) (R), Corey Smith (6-2, 250) (Reserves)
- UT Cory Redding (6-4, 295), Langston Moore (6-1, 305) (Reserve)
- NT Chuck Darby (6-0, 297), Shaun Cody (6-4, 310), Andre Fluellen (6-2, 296) (R) (Reserves)
- LDE Jared DeVries (6-4, 275), Ikaika Alama-Francis (6-5, 280) (Reserve)
Ikaika Alama-Francis (left) has job
security in Detroit
AP Photo/Duane Burleson
(Cut: Victor DeGrate, Rudolph Hardie (R), Claude Harriott, Landon Cohen (R). Expect Cohen to land on the practice squad provided he clears waivers. What could change? Either the Lions keep nine, adding a tight end (3 instead of 2), or Cohen is kept and Cody is released.)
- WLB Ernie Sims (6-0, 225), Anthony Cannon (6-0, 228) (Reserve)
- MLB Paris Lenon (6-2, 235), Jordon Dizon (6-0, 229) (R)
- SLB Alex Lewis (6-0, 230), Buster Davis (5-9, 239)
Ernie Sims (#50) leads the
linebacking core in Detroit.
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
(Cut: Tyrone Pruitt (R), Leon Joe, Gilber Gardner, Darnell Bing. It's unfortunate that Joe and Gardner will are victims of a numbers game, because each has had a strong training camp, in particular Joe, who showed flash against the Giants. Neither is eligible for the practice squad, but at least they'll have valuable game film to disperse to other teams once they hit the waiver wire. Pruitt is a practice squad possibility.)
- LCB Brian Kelly (5-11, 193), Keith Smith (5-11, 191), Dovonte Edwards (6-0, 182) (Reserves) - Kelly provides that veteran leadership and a keen understanding of Detroit's Tampa 2 defense (see: his previous 10 years as a Buccaneer). He has a Super Bowl ring and is a classic cover-corner. Smith is a starting-quality NFL cornerback, but can learn the defense behind Kelly and spell the aging veteran in an on-call role. Expect Smith to see the field frequently, even if he isn't classified as a "starter." Dovonte Edwards can thank Stanley Wilson, whose preseason injury will leave him on injured reserve, leaving a roster spot to Edwards.
RCB Leigh Bodden (6-1, 193), Travis Fisher (5-10, 189) (Reserve) - Fisher is ahead of Bodden on the depth chart but not in reality. Bodden has had a stronger training camp, has better credentials, and is simply a better talent. With Bodden across from Kelly, the Lions have a dynamic and formidable tandem at the cornerback position. Fisher, meanwhile, is a solid backup but also the team's nickel back.
- FS Gerald Alexander (6-0, 204), Daniel Bullocks (6-0, 212) (Reserve)
- SS Dwight Smith (5-10, 201), Greg Blue (6-2, 216), Kalvin Pearson (5-10, 200) (Reserves)
Leigh Bodden adds an exciting
element to Detroit's secondary.
Getty Images/Domenic Centofanti
(Cut: Stephen Howell, LaMarcus Hicks)
Special Teams (3)
- PK Jason Hanson - The veteran returns for his 17th year. He knocked in a 50-yarder against the Giants just as evidence that he still has what it takes.
- P Nick Harris - Another veteran, and a reliable punter in Detroit's special teams package.
- LS Don Muhlbach - Has officially put the Minnesota Viking/extra point gaffe behind him, turning into one of the league's more dependable long snapping specialists.
Practice Squad (Does Not Count Towards 53-man Roster)
- Kenneth Moore, Brandon Middleton, Landon Cohen, Carroll Madison, Ramzee Robinson, LaMarcus Hicks, Tyrone Pruitt (Lions could add one-to-two eligible players to this list that may have spent time with the team during the off-season, or were among cuts from other teams, but not currently with the stable of Lions players.) Practice squad eligibility.
Offense (See Projection) 24 | Defense & Special Teams 29 = 53