Detroit Lions: 5 Players Who Will Be Toughest to Cut

Melissa HeyboerFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 17: Carmen Messina #47 of the Detroit Lions celebrates with teammate Stephen Tulloch #55 after intercepting a pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium on August 17, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

As the Detroit Lions inch closer to their 53-man roster, it becomes increasingly harder to make those final roster decisions. Whether it’s undrafted rookies or veteran leaders, it’s always hard to see certain players go.

With just one preseason game left, the remaining players on the Lions roster have only a few more opportunities to prove that they deserve to be on the team come September 9th.

So who do you think makes the cut? Here are the five players who I believe will be the toughest for the Detroit Lions to cut this season:

Carmen Messina (LB):

Messina has had probably the best preseason he could have asked for. As an undrafted rookie, Messina had seven tackles in week one of preseason and grabbed an interception in week two that confirmed the Lions win over the Ravens.

Unfortunately, there’s still not enough room for him on the roster. He’s proven he’s got the talent, but it’s not likely that he’ll find himself on the roster over rookies Tahir Whitehead and Travis Lewis or veterans like Ashlee Palmer.

I think the Lions will probably decide he can benefit from some time on the practice squad. Otherwise, his performance will certainly have grabbed the attention of other teams across the league.

Everette Brown (DE):

Brown isn’t going to get cut from the Lions roster because he isn’t good enough, or because he didn’t perform well in training camp and preseason. Brown will likely be cut because there simply isn’t enough room for him.

The Lions already have incredible depth at defensive end. Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch are all but guaranteed spots on the roster and it’s safe to assume that Lawrence Jackson and Willie Young have secured spots as well.

That leaves rookie Ronnell Lewis and Brown fighting for that remaining roster spot. Lewis is younger, and was drafted to help out on defense and special teams. While the Lions could conceivably carry six defensive ends, I think they have areas of greater need on the team. Which means Brown gets the boot.

Jonte Green (CB):

With Chris Greenwood being placed on the PUP list to start the season, it’s still somewhat likely that Green could make the team and fill an extra cornerback spot. But instead, I think the Lions will decide to carry an extra safety, which leaves Green off the 53-man roster.

Green hasn’t been all that impressive at camp or in preseason games so far, but he’s also vying for a spot within one of the thinnest positions on the team. That means there’s a chance he makes the roster. Unfortunately, I don’t think he’s done enough to convince the Lions he’s ready for that spot. He could, however, be a great candidate for the practice squad.

Patrick Edwards (WR):

This is the position I’m most torn on. In the end, I think Edwards ends up making the team as a sixth receiver, but if for some reason he doesn’t, it will be a difficult pill to swallow. At least for me.

While he isn’t particularly jaw-dropping in any one facet of the game the fact that he can play a solid receiver and also be counted on as a punt and return man is a nice addition for the Lions. Granted, he hasn’t exactly turned any heads in preseason, but I still think he’s shown flashes of the versatility a sixth wide out needs.

If he does get cut, it will be because the Lions decided to carry some depth elsewhere, likely at quarterback.

Andre Fluellen (DT):

Fluellen isn’t necessarily a heartbreaker to me (and probably not to the rest of you, either), but this is his fifth year with Detroit, which makes it a little more difficult to see him go. I do think he’s talented enough to make the roster, but with so much depth at tackle, there simply isn’t enough room for him.

While he has had a fairly productive offseason so far, the only real chance I saw of him making the team was if Nick Fairley was going to be suspended for a few games. But with his court appearances continually get pushed back, it doesn’t appear that that will be an issue.

Agree? Disagree? Who do you think will be the toughest cuts for the Lions in the coming weeks?