Detroit Lions predicted to make surprise cut before releasing 53-man roster

Detroit Lions predicted to make surprise cut: Find out which player one insider believes will be on the outside looking in when the final cut is made.

Detroit Lions predicted to make surprise cut before releasing 53-man roster

At the time we are writing this article, the Detroit Lions have under 55 hours remaining until they are required to submit their initial 53-man roster for the 2023 NFL season. With that being said, everybody has begun releasing their final Detroit Lions 53-man roster predictions (including us), and Lions beat writer Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press believes a surprise cut is coming.

Romeo Okwara Detroit Lions predicted to make surprise cut

Who Will Be The Surprise Cut?

As I looked down Birkett's projected 53-man roster, he was literally 100% lockstep with my predictions on the offensive side of the ball. But when it comes to the Lions' defense, that is where we differ a bit. One difference Birkett has is that he decided to keep 6 linebackers, including Anthony Pittman. This led to what he called his “surprise cut” on the defensive line. That surprise cut is veteran EDGE, Romeo Okwara.

This is the toughest piece of the roster puzzle to figure out because the Lions have so many experienced hands vying for jobs on a deep defensive front,” Birkett wrote. “Holmes could alleviate the logjam by trading one of his excess linemen, but if he can’t find any takers he’ll either have to go heavy at the position or let a good player go. Romeo and Julian Okwara appear to be sixth and seventh, respectively, in the edge rush pecking order, and Buggs and Jones are vying for the starting nose tackle job. I set this roster with the Lions keeping both interior linemen. Jones played ahead of Buggs last week, but both stick based on their body of work (dating back to last year) and the fact Martin doesn’t quite look ready to contribute yet. And I left both Okwara brothers off in the toughest decision of this exercise.

Why it Matters

Personally, I believe Romeo Okwara will make the initial 53-man roster, but Birkett's rationale to keep Pittman as a sixth linebacker certainly would make sense. The Lions have depth on their defensive line and as Birkett predicts, the Okwara brothers could be in trouble.

2023 Detroit Lions likely to catch huge break

TL;DR (too long didn't read)

  1. Upcoming Roster Deadline: The Detroit Lions have less than 55 hours left to finalize their initial 53-man roster for the 2023 NFL season, sparking numerous roster predictions from experts and enthusiasts alike.
  2. Dave Birkett's Prediction: While there's consensus on the offensive lineup, Birkett, a beat writer for the Detroit Free Press, predicts a notable variation on the defensive side. He forecasts that the Lions will retain six linebackers, including Anthony Pittman, leading to an unexpected omission of veteran EDGE player, Romeo Okwara.
  3. Defensive Depth Creates Dilemma: The depth of talent on the Lions' defensive line presents challenges in finalizing the roster. Birkett mentions that Romeo and Julian Okwara might be on the fringes of the edge rush hierarchy, and with internal competition among linemen, tough decisions are imminent.

Bottom Line: The Clock Is Ticking

Birkett's projection, suggesting the exclusion of both Okwara brothers from the Lions' lineup, highlights the tough decisions that loom in the shadows of every preseason. The potential rise of Pittman as a sixth linebacker underscores the depth and versatility the Lions have cultivated. As the final hour approaches and the Lions carve out their 53-man roster, one thing remains clear: In this league, even established names aren't exempt from the tough calls.

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