Let's go over the whole #Lions roster in 280 characters or less per player.
He always looks good in camp. He looks slimmer, which may have been an intentional choice but might give me a little pause considering he's coming off a back injury and the OL still has a lot of question marks.
Barring another injury, I still expect top 15.
He has looked better than any QB2 in years. There has been no battle for QB2 and unless Savage gets hurt, he'll be the only other quarterback on the roster. He has a really nice arm, and unlike his Texans tape he has been quite accurate throughout camp, mostly.
While Savage has looked better than any Lions backup QB in years, Fales has looked worse. And I've seen Jake Rudock and Kellen Moore in camp, multiple times. Don't even need the full 280.
Johnson has looked good, but I get the feeling they're taking it easy with him. Part of that is just that it's early camp. When he came back on Sunday, the run game looked miles better than it did on Saturday while he was out. Clear #1, but injury questions.
Anderson has looked fine. He seems very comfortable rushing and, more importantly schematically for his usage, he takes dump passes like a champ. I expect if they do run similar late game packages as they have in the past, Anderson will be in that close out job
Zenner might even contend for RB2, but I'll have to see quite a bit more before I make that leap. He looks the part, though, and we've seen him do it before. Can he do enough to leapfrog a favored free agent? Blocking and special teams make him a likely lock.
Johnson hasn't seen any uptick in usage, nor has he displayed any versatility in pass catching that would suggest he can command a larger role yet.
With Riddick gone, I expect them to carry 4 RB and Johnson would be the last man on.
Hasn't played much ST.
We already passed the part of camp where the reserve power back starts hitting to make his presence felt.
Hard road to the roster for Thompson, and without a special teams role I'm not sure how he beats out Zenner or Johnson, nor how he sneaks on at RB5.
Bawden has done more work in camp than any fullback the Lions have had in the past, including another drafted fullback Mike Burton some years back.
I expect him to make the roster and have a role, as long as his injury ruined 2018 is an anomaly.
Hock has looked as good as he was billed if not better.
I'm a notable rookie TE critic, as well as a wait and see type of guy.
So I'm not chugging kool-aid.
But I've got some on ice.
And the cups out.
Already got my favorite straw out.
James hasn't looked great, but he also hasn't been asked to do much.
He's not much of a weapon at tight end, but the closer to the line you get from 10 yards, the better he does as a pass catcher.
Not worried that he isn't showing cuz he wasn't brought here to.
Thomas has a reputation as a poor blocker, so the Lions just don't have him do that much.
He's looked occasionally brilliant as a pass catcher, though. Think he could be a real weapon in some packages. Suspect he'll get plenty of action with how this O is built
Nauta has looked alright, but not good enough to suggest he's going to command more snaps or even make the roster if they don't want to keep 4 TE.
Luckily, I think they want to keep 4 right now. He'll have to show a lot more to make the active game day roster.
Traylor looks perfectly serviceable in a reserve role. I don't see a whole lot of upside there, but he seems to be very try hard and you can work with that in a pinch. Hands haven't been great, but also has QB3 throwing to him.
As a route runner, Jerome Cunningham showed a little bit of smoothness and a little bit of skill.
I haven't seen any other trait that he's stood out in enough for me to feel he has any real shot at making the roster or sticking as a developmental guy.
Unquestionably the best receiver on the roster, Golladay still looks like he's going to be a featured piece to the offense. With Darius Slay out, he's been nearly impossible to cover.
Jones still has the speed to challenge deep, but I'm a little concerned that we aren't seeing him dominate more. Being covered by lower rostered CBs, he should be feasting, but he's only really dominated when going deep against Tabor. Need more winning!
Amendola gets talked up a lot and he looks fine.
Do I see the 50/500/2 he's averaged in his career? Not really. If he remains RELATIVELY healthy, he should be 5th, maybe even 4th in targets. I struggle to see any kind of red zone role, but that's not his jam.
After WR3, it's very much in flux. With that in mind, I'm making several assumptions.
Jones has dropped some passes, which isn't good, but he blocks well and this team values that. With Kearse not looking so hot, Jones would get the nod for me.
Fulgham is a ways away from being an impactful receiver, but he's putting in a lot of work. Can't ask for much more. He's improved as camp has progressed, so I'm assuming a bit of an upward curve to keep him on the roster.
Kearse was brought in and paid like a guy they thought they could keep, but he's looked mostly bad in camp and I didn't see any improvement so far. He looks a lot like a guy who saw all of his better days pass by and is desperately searching for more.
Lacy got a lot of hype coming into camp, but has only flashed sparingly. Reminds me a lot of Corey Fuller from back in the day, with more wow... moments than wow! moments.
Powell is the team's gadget guy, which is likely his in road to a roster spot if they keep one.
Working against him is that the team didn't keep one last year and usually doesn't, and that Amendola can do much of the same role if they really want it.
Kennedy does a lot of things nice. He's a great athlete. He runs pretty smooth routes. He looks like he has an idea how to create space.
One thing he doesn't do well is catch the football. He's dropped more passes than anyone in camp by far.
Duhart is well down the depth chart and has no clear path to the roster. He could work his way onto the practice squad with a strong preseason, but doesn't look great at the moment.
Reilly had a couple of nice moments on Sunday, but for the most part he's been repping as far down as you can and has a tough ride if he wants to even make the practice squad.
Decker is the starter and with pretty much every defensive lineman out with some injury or another he hasn't seen much of a challenge in camp yet. Not much to talk about until he gets some real work.
Wagner, like Decker, isn't in any danger of losing his job any time soon.
As long as he remains healthy, he's the starter in 2019, but it could get interesting in 2020 when his contract is more manageable.
Like Decker, he's mostly went against backups so far.
Crosby has been the primary reserve tackle in camp and that's probably his role going forward.
I'm not as confident as him as the 'tackle of the future' like some are, but he's competent if asked to play in a pinch and most teams don't have that kind of guy.
The Lions brought Donnal in last year to be a reserve, and he's a reserve. He's had some bright moments against the 2nd team guys in camp, but his upside is limited. I haven't seen him anywhere but right tackle, so evaluating him solely there.
Pope has tons of upside, and he's flashed occasionally in camp. But he's miles away from being able to play on any kind of a reliable basis, even in emergency duty. If they hadn't paid him so much to keep him, I'd say practice squad, but they may carry him.
Nelson is a true developmental prospect. I'd be absolutely stunned if he made the final roster, but I'm not worried about it either. He needs a lot of work, so only thing to wait for is if they think he's far enough along to justify a practice squad spot.
Glasgow is a stalwart blocker who appears to be starting at RG this year. He could start at LG if the rest of the Lions situation goes tits up. Glasgow has looked good in camp, but again, he's facing mostly backups.
Ragnow moved to Center, where he had all pro potential as a prospect. His rookie season had some highs and lows, but this move should bring out the best in him so I'm excited to see it. Strap in.
How confident am I in the Lions third interior lineman? I'm neither sure who it is nor am I sure which interior OL spot is.
Wiggins was bad in 2018 and no, I couldn't talk myself into his play being okay or serviceable or whatever.
It's a worry.
Dahl is almost certainly making the roster on the count of him being a reserve at every OL spot. That he could start is a concern as I'm not confident in him more than a few snaps every game.
It's a worry.
Aboushi hasn't repped at LG, so if that's the spot they want to fill it's unlikely he makes it. It also suggests he's not really considered versatile enough to play both spots. He could start in 2019.
It's a worry. #IntentionalTrend
A heralded UDFA, Benzschawel hasn't shown much despite facing gassed, third stringers in camp. I think many of us simply whiffed on where we should have been projecting him based on what I've seen in camp so far, but he has plenty of time to change minds.
The furthest road for any of the OL is undrafted rookie Micah St. Andrew. Both physically and technically, he's got a lot of work to do, so his best bet is to fight for the practice squad.
Prater's leg isn't what it used to be, but it's still plenty good enough. Still very accurate, he's got some time yet before the wheels come off.
Martin has looked very sharp in camp. Hang time has been .5-1 second longer than the only 'competition' he has in camp and he's booting it with ease. Is this his return to form?
Santoso has been doing more work at kicker than I remember from last year and he's spent much of his time helping with other drills. Barring injury, he's not making the roster, but there's not enough to judge if he could stick elsewhere.
As pointed out. I missed one.
Alexander has done some returning, which is a good sign for him. As a receiver, he hasn't stood out in a group lacking standouts. Very much in it, like the rest of the bunch, but need to see a jump.
No mystery here, Flowers is expected to be the top pass rusher in town. Due to injury, we haven't gotten to see him yet, but his tape looks like that's almost certainly true and there's no real reason to think otherwise yet.
I'm counting Hand as a straight DE just for simplicity sake, but he plays everywhere. Some of the best rookie tape you'll ever see for a DL, injury seems to be the only real concern with him taking the next step. Worth noting he's taken a leadership role, too.
Okwara had some nice sacks last season, but was largely ineffective as a pass rusher overall. It was a good pickup, though, and he has room to grow. I don't think his ceiling is very high, but having a rotational DE who knows his job and can perform it has value
Loewen came out of nowhere and has had a strong camp. He's played better than Eric Lee, who reps ahead of him mostly, so I'm projecting he takes a preseason jump once the lights are on. Could be our first camp cockroach on defense in a while.
Lee hasn't been very impressive to me, either last season or in camp now, but he's repping like a guy the team likes as a reserve so we'll probably see a lot of him. He'll be 25 this week, so he's still plenty young and has room to grow.
Bryant is a LOT leaner than he played at Clemson, where I was as far from a fan as you can get. In very limited action, he's looked alright in camp before getting hurt again. Potential to jump if his drop in size adds speed and agility he lacked in college.
Wynn is a guy I've never noticed in camp. So this is short. In fact, I'm spending more time talking about how little I've seen him do any work or take any reps than I am talking about his chances.
Snacks is a beast. Barring, I don't know, actual on field murder, I expect the best run defender of the last decade to still be a force to be reckoned with. A terror that forces offensive lineman to quietly cry as they cram tape trying to find a weakness.
Mike Daniels has yet to do much in camp, as he's just arrived, and there are very serious injury concerns that have to be monitored. A healthy Mike Daniels adds a pass rush element this team was lacking, and he's a truly dangerous interior rusher for Lions.
Robinson is an elite run defender and has a big role on a line that seems stacked with talent. If he can find a way to expand his pass rush, he could provide long term what Mike Daniels is providing temporarily, but even if he doesn't he's a run D beast
Currently injured and not practicing, Kilgo has some experience playing nose in the NFL. He isn't great, but as you'll see the Lions interior depth isn't superb once you're past the monster starters.
Atkins was a 26 year old rookie, so he's a lot older than most of the inexperienced guys the Lions have. He's a competent nose tackle, though lacking in any real upside or upwards projection.
Johnson had some rough college tape, in part due to Arizona's atrocious usage of him. His body type looks like he's a year away as well, so this is a guy you're probably going to see on the practice squad as a possible Snacks successor downt he line.
A true Bo Davis guy, Strong has showed some promising traits in camp but is likely still headed to the practice squad given this defensive line construction. An undersized nose at UTSA, he's going to either have to bulk up or get a lot quicker to stick.
Smith has a lot of athletic traits to like, but he has yet to really show anything of note in camp.
Jones is new, so I have yet to see him do any work. He is listed lower than he did at his pro day, which may mean he tried to lean down in pro prep or that they're listing his college weight, in which case he got a lot bigger (318). Need to see more.
Another guy I missed, though I have the excuse this time of him being hurt, if Lewis wasn't hurt he likely would have been the cut instead of Brandon Reilly when Fred Jones was signed.
Davis has a ton of potential, but in year three we're still looking at untapped potential instead of realized promise. Can he ditch his tackling issues? Can he get better in coverage? Camp suggests he can so far, but we need to see some real results, soon
Jones was terrible to start 2018 and brilliant to finish. Considering most of his career looked like that first half, can we expect a return to form (not great)? Or was his resurgence in the second half of 2018 a portend of things to come?
Like Romeo Okwara, Devon Kennard wasn't as good rushing the passer as his sacks suggest, but that doesn't mean he can't get there. An opportunist, the improved DL may benefit Kennard more than anyone else. I'm intrigued in a guy I was skeptical in 2018.
Tavai is getting thrown straight into the fire, much like Jarrad Davis was as a rookie. He looks very good in camp, so early impressions are very positive. I still have concerns about his coverage ability and speed, despite his camp pick today.
JRM might find a role similar to his positive rookie season or he may be off the roster. Tough to put a handle on. While he's had good moments in coverage, I've also seen him burnt plenty and coverage is his calling card. Weird fit in the D.
Dooley has come out of nowhere to find first team reps in camp while other guys are out injured. More importantly, he hasn't looked lost and is a guy who not only could stick to the roster but could work his way into the rotation. Super interesting
Longa was pushing for a real defensive role in 2018 before getting hurt, but he's behind that trajectory this year. He still has special team value, but that might not be enough to find a roster spot.
I've seen very little to suggest Lamar challenging for a roster spot, so the preseason is going to be very important. Aside from one heads up pass deflection, he's looked slow both of feet and to react.
Would have been a much better story if the local Wayne State prospect has looked fantastic in camp, but I haven't seen him do much to challenge for a practice squad spot, let alone a place on the roster.
Due to his holdout, we haven't seen him in camp yet. Due to his holdout, we've seen plenty of the other guys behind him. Due to that, we've got a pretty clear idea, once again, of just how much value Darius Slay brings. Miss him. Bring him back.
Melvin has been the clear cut CB2 in camp both in reps and in play. Am I projecting a return to his solid 2017 form? No. He hasn't looked very good. Am I predicting a return to his awful 2018 form? Nah, he ain't bad.
Still a concerning position.
Coleman has looked between good and very good at nickel. I think this is possibly the 2nd most upgraded position on the whole team, behind only tight end. I expect Coleman to be an impact defender on the team.
Oruwariye was drafted to be a possible outside corner of the future and he's on his way to getting there. He's had his struggles in training camp, but he's also improved as the days go on and could find his way into the rotation earlier than later.
Tough to find a real defensive role for Agnew if Coleman is starting (he is). Still, Agnew showed improvement before his injury in 2017 and his value as a special teamer and occasional offensive weapon can't be discounted.
Tabor has looked okay at times in camp, but I still don't see any notable improvement from previous camps. If he doesn't win the starting job outright, it's tough to find a real role on the defense. Nobody keeps a 'red zone only' corner, as they shouldn't.
Cooper has had some hype coming into camp, but since he's been hurt I have yet to see it. Basing it on his play in previous stops, I'm not sure there's anything there and without age or PS eligibility on his side I just don't see it.
Ford started games in 2018 and looked better than the guys he replaced. That said, after multiple days in camp I have a hard time seeing how he's used that to build and be a roster option in 2019. Repping low and playing poorly.
I keep reminding myself that he's on the roster. He's done nothing to stand out at a position that desperately needs a standout.
So I left out two IOL, and Luke Bowanko is OC2. The road to the roster as a true center is a difficult one, nearly impossible, but if they keep one it looks like Bowanko is it.
I also left out Koloamatangi, who is repping as OC3. That's a downgrade from last year, and if he's trying to make the roster he's going to need an absolutely absurd preseason performance.
Diggs at FS? What the heck? Look, I'm still figuring it out, but I think the traditional FS/SS designations might not be as accurate with the way the team uses them. That said, Diggs is clearly the leader of the secondary and best defender on the back end now.
I expect a Tracy Walker breakout. Yeah, I ain't scared. I'm all with @erikschlitt on this one, that Tracy Walker has already broken out and we're just waiting for him to have enough snaps of elite play to coin him as a great player. He's superb so far.
Adams had so many ups to start camp, but he's been burnt quite a bit too. A true high risk/high reward player, Adams has some value in packages that make him an interesting piece of the team if they can find out how to utilize his ball skills.
The Lions 3rd round pick has struggled in camp, but like Tracy Walker I think they're using him in camp at his worst possible position (way off the line in his case) to build his weaknesses to average before building his strengths.
Super interesting for 2020.
Yeah, I'm going on a limb that Moore is leapfrogging Tavon Wilson. Moore has looked far better and has better special teams value. If you're keeping a fifth safety, they need to have game day value, and Moore does where others do not.
Wilson is still a versatile piece of the defense that can play multiple roles, but unlike previous seasons he's looked pretty poor in those roles and is almost exclusively on 3rd team. They're not repping him like a valuable player.
Washington is relying solely on his special teams value at this time and is that enough to make this particular roster at that particular position? I would suggest it is not, and this is a hard road for Washington to make the roster.
Like Charles Washington, he's banking on a special teams role to make the roster. Playing at LB and S, he's done little to carve a role for himself.