With the majority of free agency in the books and NFL Draft behind us, it’s time to start thinking about what the Detroit Lions roster will look like in 2016. There is no question about it that the roster will look much different than it did last season, and some familar faces could be on the chopping block.
Here is a list of 10 current players who may not make the Lions final 53-man roster.
Don Muhlbach (LS)
When current Lions long snapper Don Muhlbach found out that the team had drafted a long snapper in the 6th round of the 2016 NFL Draft, he must have had a bad feeling. Bob Quinn believed in rookie LS Jimmy Landes enough to spend a draft pick on him and you can bet that he expects him to be on the 2016 53-man roster.
Chances that Muhlbach is on the 2016 53-man roster: 30%
Stephen Tulloch (LB)
That’s right, Stephen Tulloch is still on the Detroit Lions roster. According to reports, the Lions do not have plans to keep Tulloch around for the 2016 season and they are actively seeking out a team willing to make a trade. It seems like just a matter of time before the veteran linebacker is either traded to another team or just flat out cut.
Chances that Tulloch is on the 2016 53-man roster: 1%
Dan Orlovsky (QB)
Dan Orlovsky seems like a great guy in the locker room, but his days as a backup to Matthew Stafford could be numbered. The Lions drafted former Michigan signal-caller Jake Rudock in the 6th Round of the NFL Draft and there is a chance he could end up winning the backup job by the time training camp is complete. There is also a chance that Bob Quinn could decide to put Rudock on the practice squad to start the season.
Chances that Orlovsky is on the 2016 53-man roster: 77%
George Winn (RB) and Zach Zenner (RB)
So far this offseason, Lions general manager Bob Quinn has signed a running back (Stevan Ridley) and drafted another (Dwayne Washington – 7th Round). Those two, along with Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, and Mike Burton (FB) who are likely to make the roster, means that George Winn and Zach Zenner could be the odd men out. Between of the two, I believe that Zenner has a better chance of sticking compared to Winn.
Chances that Winn is on the 2016 53-man roster: 10%
Chances that Zenner is on the 2016 53-man roster: 45%
Gabe Wright (DT)
Gabe Wright, who was selected in the 4th Round, is a player the Lions actually traded up for in the 2015 NFL Draft. That being said, Bob Quinn was not part of that trade and has no loyalty to Wright. Quinn has made multiple moves this offseason to bring in competion at the DT position and Wright will have to have a stellar camp in order to make the team.
Chances that Wright is on the 2016 53-man roster: 20%
Corey Fuller (WR) and TJ Jones (WR)
When the Lions take the field for the first time in 2016, their wide receiving will look very different than it did last season. First of all, Calvin Johnson is gone due to retirement and in addition, the Lions have signed Marvin Jones, Jeremy Kerley and Andre Caldwell. GM Bob Quinn also signed undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver Jay Lee out of Baylor to compete for a spot. Jones and Kerley are virtual locks to make the team and if Lee can prove himself in camp, Corey Fuller and TJ Jones could both be on the outside looking in.
Chances that Fuller is on the 2016 53-man roster: 20%
Chances that Jones is on the 2016 53-man roster: 70%
Cornelius Lucas (OL)
One of the priorities that Bob Quinn had this offseason was to improve the Lions offensive line. Not only did he draft three offensive lineman (Taylor Decker, Graham Glasgow, Joe Dahl), but Quinn also signed free agent Geoff Schwartz. Cornelius Lucas, who was an undrafted free agent who joined the Lions in 2015 has not developed into an realiable offensive lineman and his days are likely numbered.
Chances that Lucas is on the 2016 53-man roster: 5%
Kyle Van Noy (LB)
Kyle Van Noy, who was drafted by the Lions in the 2nd Round of the 2014 Draft, is well on his way to getting the dreaded “bust” label as far as draft picks go. After suffering an injury in his rookie campaign, Van Noy has struggled to get on the field for the Lions. In 23 career games, he has only 14 tackles and one sack. With a solid training camp, Bob Quinn and the Lions could decide to give Van Noy one last chance, but he could be on a tight leash.
Chances that Van Noy is on the 2016 53-man roster: 70%