Here is a position-by-position look at who stays, who goes when the Detroit Lions make their final cuts.
Position thoughts: After going with only two quarterbacks in the last projection, I think the Lions end up sticking with three quarterbacks – again – when it comes down to it. The Lions like the continuity of the quarterback room and while Jim Caldwell has historically stuck with two quarterbacks, Martin Mayhew has gone with three.
Position thoughts: Really wrestled with this one, but the Lions are more likely to be able to see Winn slip through waivers at this point than Zenner, who has been one of the best rushers of the preseason. It’s a risk for Detroit considering Winn has strong special teams capabilities, but the Lions could always use Riddick there if need be or one of the linebackers. Or Michael Burton.
Fullback (1): Michael Burton (cut: Emil Igwenagu)
Position thoughts: This was a closer race than initially thought, but Burton – and his draft pick status – ends up winning the role.
Position thoughts: Jones had a good preseason finale – including a touchdown reception – but the experience of Moore and special teams versatility of Ross win out. Jones ends up on the practice squad, though, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him get a call-up at some point this season. The interesting thing for Salas will be the seriousness of the knee injury, although he’s likely not on the final 53.
Position thoughts: Wright wasn’t overly impressive in his Detroit Lions debut, but Fauria didn’t do anything to wow, either. The Lions clearly traded for Wright with an idea of how they would want to use him. While cutting Fauria – especially considering his height and hands – is a tough move, Wright has offered more overall production in his two years. Still think it could go either way.
Position thoughts: No changes here. This is pretty much set.
Position thoughts: The question will be if the Lions choose to keep Boggs or not – and that could come down to Warford’s Week 1 availability. Boggs has had a strong camp and is probably one of the 53 best players on the Lions, but the numbers could squeeze him out.
Position thoughts: Webster’s cut might be surprising, except the Lions could use an extra edge rusher and Hunt has been strong throughout camp. The Lions are going to hope Webster’s lack of overall production outweighs his potential during waiver transactions so they can put the 2014 fourth-round pick on the practice squad. Hyder had a fantastic finale and could also end up on the practice squad.
Position thoughts: Much like Boggs and Warford, Reid’s health could determine what the Lions do with Cudjo. Like Boggs, Cudjo had a really, really strong camp and made plays daily. Ngata’s initial snap availability could end up being what pushes the Lions to keep Cudjo, who will likely be on a roster this year even if it is not the Lions.
Position thoughts: This ended up being somewhat easy to call once Lewis saw so much action in the final two preseason games. That Bynes, Lewis, Van Noy and Whitehead all have strong special teams resumes doesn’t hurt when sticking with six linebackers. Copeland was a tough cut, but he could end up on the practice squad.
Position thoughts: This feels pretty much locked in, although if the Lions feel like they could flip Diggs through waivers, it’s possible they’d take that chance. But the sixth-round pick has potential and the Lions will likely stick with him.
Position thoughts: This is pretty set and would be a surprise if it went any other way. At least one guy will be on the practice squad, though.
Position thoughts: Nothing to say here. These guys are all there.