Detroit Lions Roster 2013: Latest Cuts, Depth Charts and Analysis

Zach KruseSenior Analyst IAugust 26, 2013

Detroit Lions Roster 2013: Latest Cuts, Depth Charts and Analysis

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    The final preseason game and two rounds of roster cuts are all that stand between the Detroit Lions and the start of the 2013 regular season.

    While the fourth exhibition game may not feature many starters, it will help decide who survives and who doesn't this week. 

    The Lions must be at 75 players by 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 27, and 53 by 6:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 31. The deadlines will force Detroit to make a number of roster decisions over the next several days. 

    In the following slides, we'll provide the latest details on every cut the Lions make, while also providing analysis on how each decision affects Detroit's depth chart.

     

     

List of 53-Man Roster Cuts

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    The Detroit Lions have begun trimming their roster down to the mandatory 53-man limit before Saturday's 6:00 p.m. ET deadline. 

    According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions made three confirmed cuts Saturday morning. His reported cuts can be found here

    Below is the full list of cuts as the Lions get down to 53 players:

    • Corey Fuller, WR
    • Jon Morgan, LB
    • Darren Keyton, OL
    • Chris Greenwood, CB
    • Martavius Neloms, S
    • Kevin Haslam, OT
    • Brandon Hepburn, LB
    • Xavier Proctor, DL
    • Amari Spievey, S
    • Ron Bartell, CB
    • Blake Clingan, P
    • Matt Willis, WR
    • Tyrell Johnson, S
    • Jake Scott, G
    • Steven Miller, RB
    • Rodney Austin, OL
    • Shaun Chapas, RB
    • Chris White, LB
    • Jimmy Saddler-McQueen, DL
    • Andre Fluellen, DL
    • Ogemdi Nwagbuo, DL

    Injured Reserve

    • Michael Williams, TE

    Fuller (sixth round) and Hepburn (seventh) were both selected in April's draft. However, neither stood out over the course of camp or the preseason, making each expendable. Greenwood was a fifth-round pick last April, but injuries kept him from making much of an impact. The athletic cornerback is 6'2" and could return on the practice squad. 

    Bartell, 31, started camp as a potential starter, but his value shrunk once the Lions brought Rashean Mathis into the mix. Detroit simply has better players at cornerback. Spievey was a third-round pick in 2010 but never grasped a legitimate role. 

    The Lions had very few surprises in their final cuts, which was mostly a result of very few difficult decisions. 

Final Depth Chart

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    Below is the Lions' unofficial 53-man depth chart:

    QB: Matthew Stafford, Shaun Hill, Kellen Moore

    RB: Reggie Bush, Joique Bell, Mikel Leshoure, Theo Riddick

    WR: Calvin Johnson, Ryan Broyles, Kris Durham

    WR: Nate Burleson, Patrick Edwards, Micheal Spurlock

    TE: Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, Joseph Fauria 

    LT: Riley Reiff, LaAdrian Waddle

    LG: Rob Sims

    C: Dominic Raiola, Leroy Harris

    RG: Larry Warford, Dylan Gandy

    RT: Jason Fox, Corey Hillard

    DE: Jason Jones, Willie Young, Devin Taylor

    DT: Ndamukong Suh, Justin Bannan 

    DT: Nick Fairley, C.J. Mosley

    DE: Ezekiel Ansah, Israel Idonije

    OLB: Ashlee Palmer, Tahir Whitehead

    MLB: Stephen Tulloch, Travis Lewis

    OLB: DeAndre Levy, Rocky McIntosh

    CB: Chris Houston, Bill Bentley, Rashean Mathis 

    SS: Glover Quin, John Wendling 

    FS: Louis Delmas, Don Carey, Dejon Gomes

    CB: Darius Slay, Jonte Green

    K: David Akers

    P: Sam Martin 

    LS: Don Muhlbach 

    IR (designation to return): RB Montell Owens

Previewing and Analyzing the Practice Squad

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    The Lions can keep to eight players on the practice squad. We'll list all eight names as announced below, via Tim Twentyman of the Lions official site:

    • RB Steven Miller: While he doesn't possess prototypical size, Miller flashed explosive skills as a returner and runner. He can catch the football out of the backfield, too. He was worth keeping around.
    • FB Shaun Chapas: A former seventh-round pick of the Cowboys, Chapas saw playing time late last season after the Lions promoted him from the practice squad. Detroit's offense just doesn't utilize a fullback all that often. 
    • WR Corey Fuller: The Lions were always going to attempt getting Fuller, a sixth-round pick this year, back unto the practice squad. He struggled to find playing time in camp. He has good size at 6'2". 
    • OL Rodney Austin: Detroit signed Austin as an undrafted free agent last year. They'll continue developing the interior offensive lineman on the practice squad. 
    • DL Jimmy Saddler-McQueen: He is another player who the Lions signed from the practice squad late last season. Saddler-McQueen had brief stints with the Cowboys, Texans and Rams previously.
    • DL Xavier Proctor: Proctor earned a chance with the Lions after a tryout with the club earlier this offseason. He played in all four preseason games, and tallied five tackles. 
    • LB Brandon Hepburn: The Lions drafted Hepburn in the seventh round in April. He'll need some time on the practice squad before he's able to contribute long term. 
    • CB Chris Greenwood: Injuries derailed Greenwood's chances at making the 53-man roster. A fifth-round pick of the Lions this season, Greenwood needs refinement but is worth stashing as a tall, athletic corner.

Recently Cut Free Agents Detroit Lions Are Rumored to Be Pursuing

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    Following final cuts, we will update this space with newly cut free agents the Lions are reported to be in the market for. 

Starters and Injury Notes

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    If Week 1 of the 2013 season were today, the Detroit Lions would likely start the following lineup on offense and defense:

    Starters 

    QB: Matthew Stafford

    RB: Reggie Bush

    WR: Calvin Johnson

    WR: Nate Burleson 

    TE: Brandon Pettigrew

    TE: Tony Scheffler

    LT: Riley Reiff

    LG: Rob Sims

    C: Dominic Raiola 

    RG: Larry Warford, Dylan Gandy

    RT: Jason Fox

    DE: Jason Jones

    DT: Nick Fairley

    DT: Ndamukong Suh 

    DE: Ezekiel Ansah

    OLB: DeAndre Levy

    MLB: Stephen Tulloch

    OLB: Ashlee Palmer

    CB: Chris Houston

    FS: Louis Delmas

    SS: Glover Quin

    CB: Darius Slay, Ron Bartell

     

    Injury Notes

    The most notable injury for the Lions remains to receiver Calvin Johnson, who has been dealing with a bruised knee this preseason.

    The Lions were without a preseason-high 12 players due to injury during Saturday's practice, according to Kyle Meinke of MLive.com. However, head coach Jim Schwartz reiterated following the workout that none of the injuries are considered long term.  

List of First Round of Cuts and General Analysis

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    The Detroit Lions made four cuts Monday, per Tim Twentyman of the Lions official website. On Tuesday, Detroit cut kicker Havard Rugland and cornerback De'Quan Meznie, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Later, the Lions released tight ends Cameron Morrah and Matt Veldman, per Twentyman. The team now has 75 players on the roster ahead of the 4:00 p.m. ET deadline.

    Here's the complete list of first-round cuts:

    • Cody Wilson, WR
    • Ronnell Lewis, DE (pictured)
    • Myron Lewis, CB
    • Chris Hope, S
    • John Drew, DT
    • Derek Hardman, G
    • Domonique Johnson, CB
    • Chaz Schilens, WR
    • Ross Weaver, CB
    • Havard Rugland, K
    • De'Quan Menzie, CB
    • Terrence Austin, WR
    • Cameron Morrah, TE
    • Matt Veldman, TE

    Lewis, a fourth-round pick of the Lions in 2012, stands out as the most notable cut among the group. He has contributed next to nothing over his brief stint in Detroit. Hope had been receiving time as a backup safety, but the veteran was competing with a handful of younger players at the position. There weren't many other surprises among the preliminary group of cuts. 

Depth Chart Post 75-Man Roster Cuts and Previewing 53-Man Roster Cuts

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    With the Lions now at 75 players, let's take a look at how their depth chart looks currently, with an assist from Ourlads.com:

    QB: Matthew Stafford, Shaun Hill, Kellen Moore

    RB: Reggie Bush, Joique Bell, Montell Owens, Mikel Leshoure, Theo Riddick, Shaun Chapas, Steven Miller

    WR: Calvin Johnson, Ryan Broyles, Kris Durham, Matt Willis

    WR: Nate Burleson, Patrick Edwards, Micheal Spurlock, Corey Fuller

    TE: Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, Michael Williams, Joseph Fauria 

    LT: Riley Reiff, LaAdrian Waddle, Kevin Haslam

    LG: Rob Sims, Rodney Austin

    C: Dominic Raiola, Darren Keyton, Leroy Harris

    RG: Larry Warford, Dylan Gandy, Jake Scott 

    RT: Jason Fox, Corey Hillard

    DE: Jason Jones, Willie Young, Devin Taylor

    DT: Ndamukong Suh, Jimmy Saddler-McQueen, Ogemdi Nwawbuo, Justin Bannan 

    DT: Nick Fairley, C.J. Mosley, Andre Fluellen, Xavier Proctor

    DE: Ezekiel Ansah, Israel Idonije

    OLB: Ashlee Palmer, Tahir Whitehead, Jon Morgan, Rocky McIntosh

    MLB: Stephen Tulloch, Travis Lewis

    OLB: DeAndre Levy, Chris White, Brandon Hepburn

    CB: Chris Houston, Bill Bentley, Chris Greenwood, Rashean Mathis 

    SS: Glover Quin, Amari Spievey, John Wendling, Tyrell Johnson

    FS: Louis Delmas, Don Carey, Martavius Neloms 

    CB: Darius Slay, Ron Bartell, Jonte Green

    K: David Akers

    P: Sam Martin, Blake Clingan

    LS: Don Muhlbach

     

    Projected 53-Man Cuts

    The Lions are heavy at running back, where as many as three cuts could happen. The same goes at receiver, where Detroit currently has nine players. Up to four or five might need to be trimmed on the offensive line. 

    On defense, the Lions are especially deep at defensive tackle. Up to two or three outside linebackers will likely be among the cuts, while safety has seven players for a position that probably only needs four. One of the two punters will be let go, too, with Clingan the leading candidate to get a pink slip.