Detroit Lions 53-Player Roster

Michael SuddsCorrespondent ISeptember 2, 2011

Detroit Lions 53-Player Roster

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    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.

Quarterbacks (3)

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    Matthew Stafford

    Shaun Hill

    Drew Stanton

    Cut: Zac Robinson

    Enough said.

Running Back (5)

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    Jahvid Best

    Maurice Morris*

    Aaron Brown

    Jerome Harrison

    Stefan Logan

    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.

Tight Ends (3)

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    Brandon Pettigrew

    Tony Scheffler

    Will Heller

    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.

Wide Receivers (5)

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    Calvin Johnson

    Nate Burleson

    Titus Young

    Maurice Stovall

    Rashied Davis

    Cut: Derrick Williams, Nate Hughes, Tim Toone

    Davis’ contributions on special teams give him the nod over Nate Hughes.  Williams finally busts out.

Offensive Tackles (5)

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    Jeff Backus

    Gosder Cherilus

    Jason Fox*

    Corey Hilliard

    Johnny Culbreath

    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.

Offensive Guards (2)

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    Stephen Peterman

    Rob Sims

    Cut: Donald Thomas, Rudy Niswanger.

    Hilliard and Culbreath add depth at guard. Niswanger could be added to another team’s roster.

Offensive Centers (2)

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    Dominic Raiola

    Dylan Gandy

    Cut: Dan Gerberry, Chris Morris

    Gerberry’s run with Detroit comes to an end.

Defensive Ends (4)

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    Cliff Avril

    Kyle Vanden Bosch

    Lawrence Jackson

    Willie Young

    Cut: Narada Williams, Keyunta Dawson

    This group needs no introduction.

Defensive Tackles (5)

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    Ndamukong Suh

    Corey Williams

    Sammie Lee Hill

    Nick Fairley*

    Andre Fluellen

    Cut: Robert Callaway, Quinn Pitcock

    Fluellen plays every defensive line position as a solid depth player.

Linebackers (6)

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    DeAndre Levy

    Stephen Tulloch

    Justin Durant

    Bobby Carpenter

    Ashlee Palmer

    Doug Hogue

    Cut: Isaiah Ekejiuba, Caleb Campbell, Cobrani Mixon

    There will be no room for Ekejiuba on the most improved unit on the Lions team.

Cornerbacks (5)

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    Chris Houston

    Eric Wright

    Aaron Berry

    Alphonso Smith*

    Brandon McDonald

    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.

Safeties (5)

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    Louis Delmas

    Amari Spievey

    Erik Coleman

    John Wendling

    Ricardo Silva

    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.

Special Teams (3)

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    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.