At both the end of the preseason and at the start, we offered up our thoughts on what the Detroit Lions roster might look like.
So it’s only fair to see where things hit and where they missed from what we initially thought.
INITIAL PRESEASON PROJECTIONS: (Initial projected roster)
Hit on all of my “roster locks,” although Don Carey might have been a stretch to call a lock at the beginning of the preseason. He didn’t have the best summer when it came to workouts and then ended up with a hamstring injury. He made the roster, though, so count it. That said, I was very, very conservative with the locks. That was from May.
Offensively, from the initial projection in July, there were some differences in what happened (as expected). I left Kellen Moore off the roster, but he played well enough to make it. Had Mikel Leshoure on my initial roster but didn’t have a good camp. Did not have Kevin Ogletree or Corey Fuller on my initial receiver projections and did have TJ Jones (who went to PUP) and Kris Durham, who was cut. Hit on all the tight ends. Only lineman to be left off from the initial projection was Rodney Austin, as the Lions chose to go with eight linemen.
Defensively, we missed on George Johnson on the initial projection in favor of Darryl Tapp. Johnson was someone who didn’t show up much in the spring, but had a very strong camp. Left Travis Lewis off the initial roster in July, which was a mistake, considering his special-teams value. Had Chris Greenwood on the initial projection, but he was cut. Actually had Isa Abdul-Quddus on the roster, which I’ll take as a win, but didn’t have Jerome Couplin. Hit on all three specialists.
FINAL PROJECTIONS: (The final projected roster)
Still left off Moore, which was a mistake. He played his way onto the roster during camp. Will be curious to see if he is on the roster the whole season. That the Lions kept him means one of two things: Either the Lions see him as a player who can actually challenge No. 2 QB Dan Orlovsky or they are going to try and trade him at some point.
Hit on all five running backs and all three tight ends. Missed on Durham, who was cut. The Lions went with Fuller, who I had on the practice squad, instead. Detroit appears to be going with speed and youth here. It will be interesting to see where Durham ends up.
Was off on the offensive line, both in number (the Lions kept eight instead of nine) and who was there. Detroit kept Cornelius Lucas over Michael Williams. Williams challenged well during camp, but I should have stuck with my initial preseason pick there. Austin had a bad camp, as mentioned above, and Detroit went light there.
Missed on Tapp, as the Lions kept nine defensive linemen. This was my fault, though, as I confused the injured reserve/designated to return rules, thinking the team could make that move before the deadline. Had I not screwed that up, would have hit all nine and hit all the linebackers. As mentioned in the final projection, Kyle Van Noy would obviously have a spot, and he does, until at least Tuesday.
Hit on all the entire secondary and all three specialists (although the specialists were cake). In all, missed on seven players on-or-off the roster (Moore, Durham, Fuller, Austin, Williams, Lucas, Tapp). Not bad, but not great, either.
Practice squads can start being assembled now and waivers are going out, so keep in mind these rosters are very fluid right now.