The Perfect NFL Roster: ESPN’s Barnwell Uses Two Lions to Complete Team

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NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions
Nov 20, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions running back Theo Riddick (25) runs the ball during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

To keep things fresh while getting geared up for the upcoming NFL season, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell decided to field the perfect 53-man roster while staying under the $167 million salary cap.  There are big names, like Tom Brady and Odell Beckham Jr., as well as players you’ve barely (or never) heard of, like Philadelphia Eagle’s WR Mack Hollins.

The idea is to field a full 53-man squad while using at least one player from each team, and following a couple rules they decided to make up along the way. (Like using an exact number of players from the 2014, ’15, and ’16 NFL Drafts.)

In the midst of all this are a couple of Lions players: Theo Riddick and Don Carey.  The former seems to get some high praise from Barnwell.

Riddick is a devastating receiver stretching linebackers on third down and in the red zone.

Surprisingly, Riddick’s contract is by far the largest of the running back group at $2.4 million.  Which is shocking when the player next to him on this list is Arizona Cardinals’ David Johnson, who is making only $800K.  And maybe just as surprisingly, a former Lion gets some praise as well in this piece, as the defensive side of the ball is following the scheme of one Jim Schwartz, so there’s that as well. All in all, a good showing for the Lions organization.

The state of Michigan had three collegiate representatives on this list: Tom Brady and Taylor Lewan from the University of Michigan, and Taylor Moton from Western Michigan.