Predicting the Detroit Lions 53-Man Roster in 2013

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Predicting the Detroit Lions 53-Man Roster

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Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

There has been a lot of buzz around the Detroit Lions' camp after a few big free agent signings in the offseason. The most notable acquisitions were the signings of running back Reggie Bush and safety Glover Quin.

Bush hasn’t had the type of career that many predicted after he came out of college, but the Lions' pass-happy offense could suit him well. Bush has shown an ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and is most effective in open space rather than between the tackles.

Quin’s addition is likely the most important acquisition for the Lions. He was a mainstay in the Houston Texans' secondary through the first four years of his career. He is a sure tackler and a leader, something the Lions could desperately use in the secondary.

Some of the Lions' key departures include defensive end Cliff Avril, who they lost to free agency, and wide receiver Titus Young, who was released. The Lions addressed the need for a defensive lineman by drafting Ezekiel Ansah with the fifth pick overall. Ansah’s combination of size and speed raised his draft stock immensely, despite the fact he has only been playing football for three years.

The Lions offense has been one of the most explosive units in football over the past few seasons. It is key that the team comes into the season in tip-top shape, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They have a tendency to have quick possessions on offense, so they’ll have to make sure their defensive players are physically capable of keeping up the pace throughout an entire game.

Here are my predictions for the Detroit Lions 53-man roster for the 2013 season.

David Fouty is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davefouty

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Quarterbacks

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Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford, Kellen Moore and Shaun Hill

The Lions have no doubt who their quarterback will be going into the 2013 season. Matthew Stafford came within 33 yards of back-to-back 5,000 yard seasons. Shaun Hill has been the back up over the last few seasons, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Lions give Kellen Moore the opportunity ahead of Hill.

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Running Backs

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Reggie Bush, Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell FB: Shaun Chapas

Reggie Bush won't be a feature back like Ray Rice or Adrian Peterson, but he could fit very nicely in the Lions' pass-heavy offense as a receiving threat out of the backfield.

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Wide Recievers and Tight Ends

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Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Wide Recievers: Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Ryan Broyles, Mike Thomas, Kris Durham and Brian Robiskie

Tight Ends: Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, Nathan Overbay and Michael Williams

The Lions have a solid combination of size and speed at the wide reciever position, with Calvin "Megatron" Johnson leading the way. Scheffler also had a solid season for the Lions last year, mostly when he was split out wide as another receiving option. If they can get Brandon Pettigrew up to the level they expect, the two could form one of the more deadly tight end combinations in football.

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Offensive Linemen

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Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Riley Reiff, Rob Sims, Dominic Raiola, Stephen Peterman, Corey Hilliard, Jason Fox, Rodney Austin and Dylan Gandy.

Riley Reiff will need to step up to the plate as the Lions left tackle. The Lions will miss the offensive leadership of Jeff Backus who retired in the offseason, but Reiff is quicker than your average LT, which should help him adjust to speedy 3-4 defenses.

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Defensive Linemen

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Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, Ezekiel Ansah, Jason Jones, Willie Young, Ogemdi Nwagbuo and C.J. Mosley

Cliff Avril's departure may hurt the Lions, but not as much as people think. Avril's numbers were inflated due to the fact that many teams doubled Suh regularly. Ansah has the potential to be one of the best pass rushers in the league. If he figures out how to play all aspects of the game, teams will have to gameplan on how to slow him down which would be a huge advantage for the Lions.

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Linebackers

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Deandre Levy, Stephen Tulloch, Ashlee Palmer, Tahir Whitehead, Travis Lewis and Alex Elkins

The Lions linebackers have been together for a few years now, and they are consistent. The Lions try to get pressure on the quarterback with their defensive line and don't blitz as often as other teams, so tackling and filling gaps is key for this veteran unit.

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Defensive Backs

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Glover Quin, Louis Delmas, Chris Houston, Bill Bentley, Darius Slay, Amari Spivey, Ron Bartell, John Wendling and Chris Greenwood

Glover Quin's addition to the secondary was necessary for the Lions to improve that unit. The safeties appeared lost at times, so his veteran leadership will be vital to the success of the Lions defense.

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Special Teams

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Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

K: David Akers and Havard Rugland P: Sam Martin KR: Stefan Logan and Mike Thomas LS: Don Muhlbach

Losing Jason Hanson to retirement shouldn't hurt the Lions too much. They signed Havard "Kickalicious" Rugland to learn under veteran kicker David Akers. If Rugland doesn't work out at, kicker the Lions might consider trying him out at linebacker.

Stefan Logan was solid returning kicks for the Lions, and I expect him to continue his role as the primary kick returner.


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