Home / frontnfl / 2019 NFL Roster Breakdown: Detroit Lions
White Wolf Illustration

2019 NFL Roster Breakdown: Detroit Lions

Roster Changes


Key additions

QB Tom Savage, QB Connor Cook, RB C.J. Anderson, WR Danny Amendola, WR Tommylee Lewis, TE Jesse James, DE Trey Flowers, CB Justin Coleman, CB Rashaan Melvin


Key losses

QB Matt Cassel, RB LeGarrette Blount, WR Bruce Ellington, WR T.J. Jones, TE Luke Willson, TE Levine Toilolo, G T.J. Lang, DE Ezekiel Ansah, LB Eli Harold, CB Nevin Lawson, CB Deshawn Shead, S Glover Quin


2019 draft class

TE T.J. Hockenson (1.08), OLB Jahlani Tavai (2.43), S Will Harris (3.81), DE Austin Bryant (4.117), CB Amani Oruwariye (5.146), WR Travis Fulgham (6.184), RB Ty Johnson (6.186), TE Isaac Nauta (7.224), DE P.J. Johnson (7.229)


Projected Starters



QB: Matthew Stafford
RB: Kerryon Johnson
WR: Kenny Golladay
WR: Marvin Jones
WR: Danny Amendola
TE: T.J. Hockenson
LT: Taylor Decker
LG: Frank Ragnow
C: Graham Glasgow
RG: Kenny Wiggins
RT: Ricky Wagner



DE: Trey Flowers
DT: Damon Harrison
DT: A’Shawn Robinson
DE: Da’Shawn Hand
OLB: Devon Kennard
MLB: Jarrad Davis
CB: Darius Slay
CB: Rashaan Melvin
CB: Justin Coleman
S: Tracy Walker
S: Quandre Diggs


Team Outlook


Notable depth

QB Tom Savage, QB Connor Cook, RB C.J. Anderson, RB Theo Riddick, RB Zach Zenner, WR Brandon Powell, WR Tommylee Lewis, WR Travis Fulgham, TE Jesse James, TE Isaac Nauta, OT Tyrell Crosby, G Joe Dahl, DE Austin Bryant, DE Romeo Okwara, OLB Christian Jones, OLB Jahlani Tavai, OLB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, CB Jalen Tabor, CB Amani Oruwariye, CB Jamal Agnew, S Will Harris, S Tavon Wilson, S Charles Washington


Biggest strength: Running back

Kerryon Johnson saw his rookie campaign cut short due to injury, but he clearly established himself as the future at the position for Detroit, rushing 118 times for 641 yards (5.4 YPC) and three scores in ten games. This offseason, the team added C.J. Anderson to act as an early-down hammer to spell Johnson, and if the veteran plays like he did down the stretch in Los Angeles, the Lions will have a case for the best one-two punch in the league. Plus, Theo Riddick will contribute in the passing game once again.


Biggest weakness: Right guard

Overall, Detroit has a solid offensive line, but they might be looking to upgrade at right guard through either a summer addition or by simply having someone step up behind Kenny Wiggins. While last year’s fifth-round pick Tyrell Crosby was drafted as a tackle, I could see him getting plugged in at right guard to hopefully give Matt Patricia’s squad a little more upside for a group that will probably want to run the ball a ton.


Position battle to watch: Cornerback

The roster certainly isn’t lacking for a No. 1 cornerback (Darius Slay) or a slot corner (Justin Coleman), but there could be a wide-open competition for the other perimeter job. Veteran Rashaan Melvin or 2017 second-round pick Jalen Tabor are the likely candidates to start, so we’ll see which guy can get the edge in training camp. Also, rookie fifth-rounder Amani Oruwariye shouldn’t be counted out because he has the size, speed, and athleticism to be effective in both man and zone coverage.


One more thought

Can the Lions win without any elite, top-shelf players on the roster? Darius Slay and Trey Flowers are great talents, but I think they are more in the “star” category than the “superstar” category, and on offense, the trio of Kerryon Johnson, Kenny Golladay, and T.J. Hockenson might be too young to become transcendent difference-makers. Coaching will be key, and Matthew Stafford may need to carry the team in his age-31 season.


Early over/under: 6.5 wins (via CBS Sports)

Under. The Lions showed flashes last year (beating New England, slowing down the Rams), but I think their lack of elite-level talents could keep them from truly competing in the NFC North. I would take the under for a franchise seeking their first division title since 1993 and their first playoff victory since 1991.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *