Predicting 2017 Lions Final Roster: Offense
Detroit’s organized team activities kick off in a couple of days. The next three months will bring minicamp, training camp, and preseason until the real deal in September. By then, the Lions will decide on the best 53 men for their final roster.
Quarterbacks (2): Matthew Stafford, Brad Kaaya
The Lions have one of the best quarterback situations in the league. Matthew Stafford’s not going anywhere, but this summer should feature a battle of the backups for the second spot. Longtime veteran Dan Orlovsky is now a free agent after backing up Stafford for three years, leaving the job open for Jake Rudock and rookie Brad Kaaya. A sixth round steal from Miami, Kaaya provides a significant upgrade over Rudock and should get the nod here.
Running Back (4): Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner, Tion Green
Provided they stay healthy, Detroit will roll the dice again on Abdullah and Riddick to start the season. Zenner, who rushed for 334 yards and four touchdowns last year, should continue to complement those two. The only running back the Lions added this spring was Tion Green, an undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati. The big-bodied Bearcat will compete with Dwayne Washington and Mike James to be the fourth running back in Detroit.
Fullback (1): Michael Burton
Burtie holds down the fullback fort, largely due to his contributions on special teams.
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Offensive Tackle (4): Taylor Decker, Corey Robinson, Rick Wagner, Cornelius Lucas
Decker and Wagner will bookend this offensive line, with Robinson serving as a swing backup. It’s a crapshoot determining another tackle beyond those three. Lucas, who the Lions tendered in March, should beat out the competition and return for his fourth year in Motor City.
Offensive Interior (5): Joe Dahl, Graham Glasgow, Laken Tomlinson, Travis Swanson, T.J. Lang
Lang was signed to big money this offseason to start at right guard, while Swanson will return at center. Dahl, Glasgow, and Tomlinson will duke it out for the left guard spot. The two with relieving duties will provide adequate depth for Detroit’s interior line.
Tight End (3): Eric Ebron, Darren Fells, Michael Roberts
The Lions recently exercised Eric Ebron’s fifth-year option, allowing the athletic tight end to prove his worth moving forward. This move comes after bringing in Fells as a complement and drafting Roberts as a project. This position has been thoroughly addressed at every step of the offseason.
Wide Receiver (6): Marvin Jones, Golden Tate, Kenny Golladay, Jared Abbrederis, T.J. Jones, Dontez Ford
While most of the offense returns starters from last year, the wide receiver position remains a question mark. Both Jones and Tate’s jobs are safe, while Golladay was drafted in the third round this year. However, it remains unclear who will account for Anquan Boldin’s production from 2016. The Lions will likely field six receivers and determine the pecking order from there as the season progresses. Abbrederis, a former Packer, can be an exciting option in the slot if healthy. Detroit added a slew of undrafted wideouts, and Dontez Ford makes the final roster on account of his speed and size.