OK, the last preseason game is now in the books. I’ve been getting pestered about my 53-player roster so I thought I’d go out on a limb with a saw.
There will be some tough cuts as some savvy veterans empty out their lockers for the last time.
Final cuts are due tomorrow. Here is my 2011 edition of the Detroit Lions.
Note that asterisks denote players who are eligible for the PUP list.
Cut: Zac Robinson
Cut: Ian Johnson, Matt Clapp
The fifth running back spot will be a place saver for Logan, who could be included at receiver or special teams. Clapp could be temporarily retained if Morris is PUP’d.
The Lions have eliminated the fullback position (something we thought might happen last year), and Matt Clapp’s job with it. Call it downsizing.
Cut: Joe Jon Finley, Gijon Robinson
Finley had a fine camp and might make an NFL practice squad.
Heller is that blocking tight end who will get some snaps as an “H” back, or fullback.
Cut: Derrick Williams, Nate Hughes, Tim Toone
Davis’ contributions on special teams give him the nod over Nate Hughes. Williams finally busts out.
Cut: Kirk Chambers
Hilliard has developed into a nice swing tackle option who can also play guard.
Culbreath has shown enough in the preseason to keep as a tackle-guard developmental project.
Cut: Donald Thomas, Rudy Niswanger.
Hilliard and Culbreath add depth at guard. Niswanger could be added to another team’s roster.
Cut: Dan Gerberry, Chris Morris
Gerberry’s run with Detroit comes to an end.
Kyle Vanden Bosch
Cut: Narada Williams, Keyunta Dawson
This group needs no introduction.
Sammie Lee Hill
Cut: Robert Callaway, Quinn Pitcock
Fluellen plays every defensive line position as a solid depth player.
Cut: Isaiah Ekejiuba, Caleb Campbell, Cobrani Mixon
There will be no room for Ekejiuba on the most improved unit on the Lions team.
Cut: Paul Pratt, Prince Miller, Nathan Vasher, Anthony Madison
Look for two of the Lions' cuts to find their way onto the practice squad if not claimed. Smith may not be in football shape for four-to-six weeks yet.
Cut: Aaron Fransisco
The Lions can defer a decision on Silva until cornerback Alphonso Smith returns to the roster. Then, the Lions must decide who to cut: Silva or Coleman.
Long snapper: Don Muhlbach
Punter: Ryan Donehue
Kicker: Jason Hanson
Cut: Nick Harris
Harris gets edged off the roster in his eighth season after Donehue, the 2010 Ray Guy finalist, narrowly beats him out.