|Offense||21st||81.9 (30th)||256.9 (11th)|
|Defense||18th||106.3 (18th)||248.4 (19th)|
|Agnew, Jamal||CB||5-10||193||4/3/1995||R||San Diego|
|94||Ansah, Ezekiel||DE||6-5||275||5/29/1989||5||Brigham Young|
|50||Armbrister, Thurston||OLB||6-3||235||12/25/1992||3||Miami (Fla.)|
|Barnes, Adairius||CB||5-10||188||4/30/1994||2||Louisiana Tech|
|Barnes, Brandon||TE||6-5||256||//||R||Alabama State|
|Barrett, Alex||DE||6-3||245||3/6/1994||R||San Diego State|
|44||Bell, Joique (FA)||RB||5-11||231||8/4/1986||7||Wayne State (Mich.)|
|Bellore, Nick||LB||6-1||250||5/12/1989||7||Central Michigan|
|16||Billingsley, Jace||WR||5-9||189||5/17/1993||1||Eastern Oregon State|
|80||Boldin, Anquan (FA)||WR||6-1||220||10/3/1980||15||Florida State|
|97||Bryant, Armonty||DE||6-4||265||5/20/1990||5||East Central (OK)|
|41||Butler, Crezdon (FA)||CB||6-1||191||5/26/1987||7||Clemson|
|57||Bynes, Josh (FA)||OLB||6-1||235||8/24/1989||6||Auburn|
|26||Carey, Don||SS||5-11||202||2/14/1987||9||Norfolk State|
|66||Dahl, Joe||G||6-4||305||4/9/1993||2||Washington State|
|68||Decker, Taylor||T||6-7||311||8/23/1993||2||Ohio State|
|85||Ebron, Eric||TE||6-4||253||4/10/1993||4||North Carolina|
|Golladay, Kenny||WR||6-4||194||11/3/1993||R||Northern Illinois|
|Hill, Jordan||DT||6-1||290||2/8/1991||5||Penn State|
|61||Hyder, Kerry||DE||6-2||270||5/2/1991||2||Texas Tech|
|30||Jackson, Asa (FA)||DB||5-10||183||12/2/1989||4||Cal Poly-S.L.O.|
|James, Mike||RB||5-10||223||4/13/1991||3||Miami (Fla.)|
|Jones, T.J.||WR||6-0||190||7/19/1992||2||Notre Dame|
|Kaaya, Brad||QB||6-4||216||9/3/1995||R||Miami (Fla.)|
|35||Killebrew, Miles||SS||6-2||222||5/10/1993||2||Southern Utah|
|Lang, T.J.||G||6-4||318||9/20/1987||9||Eastern Michigan|
|Lawrence, Des||DB||6-1||174||11/30/1994||R||North Carolina|
|24||Lawson, Nevin||CB||5-9||192||4/23/1991||4||Utah State|
|Lee, Khari||TE||6-4||253||1/16/1992||3||Bowie State|
|54||Levy, DeAndre (FA)||OLB||6-2||234||3/26/1987||9||Wisconsin|
|77||Lucas, Cornelius||T||6-9||330||7/18/1991||4||Kansas State|
|Martin, Keshawn||WR||5-11||195||3/15/1990||5||Michigan State|
|6||Martin, Sam||P||6-1||211||2/27/1990||5||Appalachian State|
|48||Muhlbach, Don||LS||6-4||258||8/17/1981||14||Texas A&M|
|Mulligan, Matthew (FA)||TE||6-4||267||1/18/1985||8||Maine|
|O'Connor, Pat||DE||6-4||270||1/1/1995||R||Eastern Michigan|
|8||Orlovsky, Dan (FA)||QB||6-5||215||8/18/1983||12||Connecticut|
|27||Quin, Glover||FS||6-0||207||1/15/1986||9||New Mexico|
|25||Riddick, Theo||RB||5-9||201||5/4/1991||5||Notre Dame|
|70||Robinson, Corey||T||6-7||317||5/21/1992||3||South Carolina|
|23||Slay, Darius||CB||6-0||190||1/1/1991||5||Mississippi State|
|15||Tate, Golden||WR||5-10||197||8/2/1988||8||Notre Dame|
|99||Thornton, Khyri||DT||6-3||315||11/21/1989||4||Southern Mississippi|
|Thornton, Josh||CB||5-11||185||//||R||Southern Utah|
|Tonyan, Robert||WR||6-5||201||4/30/1994||R||Indiana State|
|Washington, Charles||DB||5-10||192||3/16/1993||1||Fresno State|
|89||Wick, Cole||TE||6-6||257||11/30/1993||2||Incarnate Word (Tex.)|
|52||Williams, Antwione||OLB||6-3||240||5/26/1993||2||Georgia Southern|
|83||Wright, Timothy (FA)||TE||6-4||220||4/7/1990||5||Rutgers|
|34||Zenner, Zach||FB||5-11||221||9/13/1991||3||South Dakota State|
|69||Zettel, Anthony||DT||6-4||270||8/9/1992||2||Penn State|
|Chubb, Brandon (IR)||LB||6-1||240||10/21/1993||1||Wake Forest|
|Team||OLine Avg. Ht||OLine Avg. Wt||DLine Avg. Ht||DLine Avg. Wt||Avg. Age||Youngest||Oldest|
Mulligan's catch resulted in a failed fourth-down conversion attempt and perfectly encapsulates the disappointing performance of Detroit's entire receiving corps. Signed in November after failing to survive final cuts out of training camp, Mulligan finished the regular season with just one catch for eight yards across eight games. As he's almost exclusively deployed as an in-line blocking tight end, Mulligan is highly unlikely to attain fantasy relevance all of a sudden in 2017.
Jackson suffered an ankle injury in Sunday's loss to the Packers and will now miss the Lions' playoff run. In four games with the team, the cornerback recorded seven tackles and one pass deflection. The Lions' promoted Adairius Barnes from the practice squad to replace Jackson on the depth chart.
Roberts has the frame to be a mauling blocker at tight end, checking in at 6-foot-4, 270 pounds. He also has massive mitts, with 11.5-inch hands, and he made quite the impression at the Senior Bowl. Roberts dominated opposing defenses in the red zone, with 10 of his 16 receiving touchdowns coming deep in enemy territory last season. He should develop into a nice complement opposite Eric Ebron.
Lee spent the first eight weeks of the 2016 season in Detroit after spending the summer in Chicago and logged over 100 snaps, primarily in a blocking role. He's set to square off with Matthew Mulligan and Khari Lee for depth chart slotting behind Eric Ebron and Clay Harbor.
Late last leason, after a fractured foot had landed Ameer Abdullah on injured reserve with a foot injury and while Theo Riddick was on the shelf due to a pair of problematic wrists, Zenner took over lead running back duties from a struggling Dwayne Washington and aided the Lions' quest for a playoff berth by rumbling for 290 total yards and three touchdowns during the season's final three games. His year average of 3.8 yards per carry average is heavily skewed by his early-season struggles considering he averaged 3.1 yards per carry across 36 attempts from Week 1 through Week 8 but actually finished the season averaging 4.2 yards per carry across 63 attempts from Week 12 onwards. With both Abdullah and Riddick expected to return in feature-back and pass-catching roles, respectively, Zenner would most likely fit in as more of a short-yardage specialist, an assignment that Detroit has been reserving for its plus-size running backs under Caldwell. Since Zenner checks in at 221 pounds, compared to 203 for Abdullah and 201 for Riddick, he certainly fits the bill. Unfortunately for fantasy purposes, Zenner might turn out to be more of a nuisance than anything considering he won't see many carries behind Abdullah but will be a threat to vulture touchdowns on a weekly basis.
Wick finished the 2016 season on injured reserve after tearing up his knee in Week 7. He declined to say whether he required surgery or not, but, regardless, he's healthy now and fully expected to attend voluntary offseason workouts in April. Outside of starter Eric Ebron, Wick is the only tight end under contract through 2017 who played a down for the Lions last year. Thus, he currently appears to be the frontrunner for No. 2 duties next season, although Detroit could always bring in competition for the role via free agency or the draft.
Boldin, now 36 years old, admitted he's intentionally waiting to sign a contract partly in order to limit the wear and tear he puts on his body. However, he referred to training camp as a "necessary evil" that all players -- even 15-year veterans -- need to go through to fully prepare for the season ahead. Following the same course of action in 2016, Boldin ultimately signed with the Lions just days before training camp and went on to post 67 receptions for 584 receiving yards and a team-high eight touchdowns across 16 games. The receiver didn't hint at where he might land this time around, instead saying he's simply looking for the best fit for him and his family.
An undrafted rookie last year, the 5-foot-9 Billingsley parlayed a strong preseason into a spot on the practice squad, which gave him time to learn how to play from the slot after splitting time between wide receiver and running back in college. With last season's slot receiver, Anquan Boldin, unsigned as the draft approaches, the Lions may need to find a replacement or else move Tate back to his pre-2016 role as the primary slot target. If Boldin signs elsewhere and the Lions decide to mostly keep Tate outside, Billingsley could be part of a competition for the No. 3 job. The competition likely would include TJ Jones, Keshawn Martin, Jared Abbrederis and potentially a rookie or two.
The Lions made it clear how much they think of Rudock by uncharacteristically carrying him as their No. 3 QB on the active roster the majority of the 2016 season -- in order to ensure another team couldn't sign him off their practice squad -- and subsequently parting ways with incumbent backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky earlier this offseason. However, Detroit management probably wasn't expecting a quarterback of Kaaya's caliber to fall to the end of the sixth round and couldn't resist when he landed in their laps. While the Miami (Fl.) product might lack the ideal frame to succeed at the professional level, he likely offers higher upside than Rudock and could make a bid for the backup job out of the gates if he can put together impressive summer and preseason showings.
After being released by the Packers due to his injury history, Abbrederis signed a reserve/future contract with the Lions in January. Having played slot in Green Bay, the third-year wideout seems like a natural fit for the No. 3 spot behind Marvin Jones and Golden Tate in Detroit. However, he'll have to fend off competition from TJ Jones, Jace Billingsley and rookie Kenny Golladay.
Davis, who was selected 21st overall by the Lions, is expected to start, with Tahir Whitehead potentially moving over to start on the outside. Davis is an athletic defender and will look to make an impact immediately for the Lions.
Not a star in his own right, Spence is still a solid addition to an up-and-coming Lions defensive line; at the very least, he'll be a quality rotational piece in DC Teryl Austin's 4-3 system. His signing likely means Tyrunn Walker and/or Stefan Charles won't be coming back to Detroit.
Stafford dislocated the middle finger in his throwing hand during Week 14's win over the Bears. He played the remainder of the season, including a Wild Card loss to the Seahawks, but looked significantly affected by the injury, throwing twice as many interceptions to touchdowns during the span. After taking some time off, the quarterback, who is entering the last year of his contract, should be ready for the beginning of OTAs.
Since going undrafted out of Lehigh in 2013, Spadola had bounced around the league before joining the Lions' practice squad in 2015. He then signed a futures contract with the team at the end of the season, but suffered a torn pectoral muscle over the summer and was placed on injured reserve shortly thereafter. His future with the team beyond the 2016 campaign is uncertain.
The Lions drafted Agnew in the fifth round of this year's draft to provide depth to both the secondary and special teams. While he'll face hefty competition for a roster spot among a cornerback group that not only returns its starters and top backups from 2016 but also includes 2017 first-round pick Teez Tabor and former Raiders first-rounder D.J. Hayden, any value he can provide as a punt returner would certainly help his case.
The drafting of former University of Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya in this year's draft initially seemed to put Rudock's hold on the No. 2 job in question, but it doesn't sound as if Kaaya has been able to pick up the playbook quick enough to serve as legitimate competition. Meanwhile, Rudock has a year of experience in OC Jim Bob Cooter's offense and has shown marked improvement from 2016 during offseason practices. Things could always change prior to Week 1, but Rudock seems unlikely to lose his role unless Kaaya puts on a show during the preseason.
Hill, a third-round pick in 2013, split time last season between the Seahawks, Jaguars, and Redskins, making four appearances in total. Although his career numbers are mostly underwhelming, the defensive tackle posted 5.5 sacks in 2014 and will look to regain similar form in Detroit.
Ferguson has already been released by two NFC North rivals throughout the offseason due to concerns with the shoulder injury that kept him sidelined for the entire 2016 season, but the Lions will now give the 2014 second-rounder another chance. Ferguson produced 22 tackles, two sacks, and three passes defensed during his rookie campaign with the Bears, but has appeared in just four games since. He'll look to provide depth at defensive tackle in Detroit behind A'Shawn Robinson, Haloti Ngata, Khyri Thornton and Akeem Spence.
James spent the previous three seasons on and off the Bucs' active roster, finishing his time in Tampa Bay with 83 rushes for 351 yards. He now joins a stable of competent runners in Detroit and will likely have trouble making the team.
Thornton will be eligible to return to the active roster on Oct. 16, which happens to be the beginning of the Lions' bye week. The reserve defensive lineman took 307 snaps on defense last season, racking up 19 tackles and one sack through 13 contests. With Thornton sidelined, the Lions may opt to bring in another defensive tackle to bolster the depth chart behind starters Haloti Ngata and A'Shawn Robinson. Thornton is allowed to take part in offseason practices and preseason games.
Washington, formerly of the Bears, will provide the Lions with depth at defensive end. While he's had immense trouble staying healthy throughout his professional career, the Georgia product has flashed as a pass rusher when healthy.
Bademosi has made his bones in the NFL as a special-teams ace, culminating in a career-high 27 tackles and one fumble recovery last season. With the move from Cleveland to Detroit, the opportunity may exist for Bademosi to play a role in a rejiggered secondary, but containment on kick and punt returns will again be on the docket.
The back is also dealing with some personal issues at the moment, which may lead to an absence during minicamp. Nonetheless, head coach Jim Caldwell is happy with the progress the linebacker is making after not participating in OTAs due to an undisclosed injury.
Tabor's hamstring injury was originally expected to keep him sidelined until training camp in late July, but he's already back practicing with the Lions as OTAs wrap up. The second-round pick snagged his first interception of the offseason program Tuesday over starting receiver Marvin Jones, and he has flashed additional signs of potentially providing the team's defense with another playmaker.
As a rookie, Robinson played on 39.7 percent of the defensive snaps, second only to veteran Haloti Ngata. The 2016 second-rounder responded with 30 tackles and two sacks with seven passes defended, which was good for third among all defensive lineman in the league. An increased level of playing time usually leads to improved counting stats, especially if Robinson is on the field more on third downs, which would presumably present him more quality opportunities to up his sack total.
Quin had been taking it easy since undergoing offseason ankle surgery, but participated in near-full capacity during Tuesday's session. For reference, Quin never participated in any team drills during OTAs. However, now in minicamp, he lined up as the starting free safety during team drills, admittedly only for a portion of the snaps, though. It appears Quin has been setback-free in his recovery, and will continue to amp up his workload in practice as the offseason wears on.
Butler, who was released by the Lions after the preseason, appeared in eight games with the team last season. He'll add depth to the defensive backfield for the Week 17 matchup with the Packers along with a possible playoff run, but don't expect him to see many snaps. Defensive tackle Stefan Charles (knee) was moved to IR to open up a roster spot for Butler.
Asiata, who spent the previous five seasons with the Vikings, will remain in the NFC North as a member of the Lions. The 29-year-old's best season in Minnesota came in 2014, when he tallied 882 total yards to go along with nine touchdowns. With Adrian Peterson sidelined much of 2016, Asiata managed a respectable 402 yards on 121 carries and six touchdowns. He will enter a crowded backfield in Detroit, so it remains to be seen whether he'll make the final roster. The team is likely looking for a bigger back to pair with the elusiveness of Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick.
Copeland was primarily a special teams player for the Lions last season but also saw some time at both linebacker and defensive end. He'll likely remain in a similar role entering the 2017 campaign.
Carey will return from a two-game absence, but is slated for a reserve role as Glover Quin's backup at free safety.
Ledbetter (6-foot-3, 280 pounds) is a bowling ball of a defensive end who figures to see inside snaps in nickel formations. He has long arms and good strength to potentially transition inside on a full-time basis, too.
Golladay is far from a finished product -- his route running needs significant improvement -- but he possesses a big-bodied frame that no other Lions receiver offers. In fact, the next tallest wideout is special teamer Ryan Spadola (6-1, 204). What's more, Golladay dropped just five out of 165 targets during his two years at Northern Illinois and caught 18 touchdowns in just 26 games. Now on a squad that sported the fifth-worst drop rate in the league -- and that also needs to replace the departed Anquan Boldin's team-leading eight touchdown receptions from 2016 -- Golladay certainly looks to be a great fit within the Detroit offense. He should therefore push for No. 3 billing behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones this summer.
Before re-signing with the Lions in March, Bryant finished the 2016 season on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury, and it appears it may still be affecting him. However, a timetable for his recovery isn't clear at present.
Jones might also consider talking to teammate Golden Tate, who led all NFL wideouts with 635 yards after the catch (7.0 per reception) last year. Jones produced a middling average of 4.3 YAC in what ultimately was a disappointing first season in Detroit, with 408 of his 930 receiving yards coming within the first three weeks. Lions coach Jim Caldwell is optimistic Jones will be more consistent this year, and the team seems to be counting on it, having yet to add a veteran replacement for Anquan Boldin. Already established as a deep threat after producing 16.9 yards per catch last season, Jones seemingly hopes that improved route running and the addition of some lower-body muscle onto his wiry frame will help him contribute more in the short and intermediate passing game.
Bellore joins Detroit after spending the past two seasons in San Francisco, where he totaled a career-high 83 tackles, one sack and one interception in 14 appearances last year. Prior to then, most of Bellore's contributions came on special teams. At 27 years old, he'll now compete for snaps at linebacker in the Lions' 4-3 scheme, which is a change from the 3-4 alignment he enjoyed working in last term.
Washington earned a roster spot out of training camp due to his impressive play on special teams, but failed to make much of an impact as a rusher at any point in the season even after Ameer Abdullah (foot) and Theo Riddick (wrist) succumbed to injury. In fact, the seventh-round rookie was ultimately phased out of the offense altogether by Week 17 and replaced by Zach Zenner, who forced a monopoly on backfield snaps in the two games since (including 50 out of a possible 52 offensive snaps during Saturday's affair). With each of Abdullah, Riddick and Zenner set to return in 2017, Washington's future with the Lions is far from certain.
Wagner played through an unspecified foot injury for a large part of the 2016 season before missing the Ravens' final two games with a concussion. His return to full strength is great news for a team that just lost starting left tackle Taylor Decker to a torn labrum.
Asa Jackson (ankle) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday so the Lions bring in Barnes to bolster the secondary. The cornerback has bounced back and forth from the practice squad to the 53-man roster all season, recording seven tackles in seven games.
After tying for seventh in the league with 31 field goals during the regular season, Prater went without an extra point for just the third time the entire season. However, he did nail a game-high 53-yard attempt, one of his longest hits of the season. Look for Prater to return in 2017 as one of the top fantasy options at the kicker position.
Bell joins Theo Riddick (wrist) among the Lions' DNPs in Week 16, leaving the backfield in the hands of Dwayne Washington and Zach Zenner. As the regular season draws to a close, Bell will likely require an injury to one of Washington or Zenner in order to get any run in his second stint with the Lions.
Levy was released by the Lions back in March after playing only six games during the last two seasons. Injuries have plagued the linebacker after a stellar stretch of play in 2013 and 2014, but if he is able to get healthy again, he should see an opportunity to play on an NFL club. Levy has recorded 639 tackles, 12 interceptions and two forced fumbles over his eight-year NFL career.
Diggs' underwhelming 2016 campaign came to an ugly close when the 2015 sixth-rounder landed on injured reserve with a pectoral injury last December. Although he'll apparently need a little bit more time to get back into top shape, Diggs has still been a full participant in OTAs while working with the first-team defense. Don't be surprised if 2017 second-rounder Teez Tabor replaces him in the starting lineup at some point between now and the season opener, though.
According to Lions coach Jim Caldwell, the team likes Carter's 6-foot, 200-pound frame positioned at safety in the secondary. Carter figures to provide Glover Quin and Tavon Wilson with depth, given he makes the final roster.
The veteran defensive tackle wanted to make sure he was completely healthy heading into the new season, even undergoing a neurological exam to determine whether he'd sustained any brain damage over his career. The results showed none, according to the defensive tackle. "The brain is good to go," Ngata said. "I wanted to make sure my head was good. He (the neurologist) said everything was pretty good -- really good, actually. ... Just to make sure, with all things that are going on with the brain and stuff throughout the league, I don't want to have problems when I'm older." The defensive tackle missed some time last year due to calf and quad issues, but he still managed to record 22 tackles and 1.5 sacks through 13 games.
Milligan was an undrafted free agent at the start of least season and after latching on with the Cowboys, he ended up suffering a severe injury that costed him the rest of the 2016 campaign. He was waived with an injury settlement and after taking the long road to recovery, he's finally healthy enough to sign with a new team. He'll join the Lions for the offseason, but there's no guarantee he makes the final roster.
A good blocking tight end, Fells will join the Lions after being non-tendered by the Cardinals this offseason. Eric Ebron will play ahead of him and presents a better and more effective pass-catching option. However, Fells could receive a boost in fantasy value should the injury bug bite Ebron again and is joining a pass-heavy Lions offense that could make him an option in deep leagues and a flier in daily lineups.
Kouandjio, a former second-round pick of the Bills, largely struggled during his first three seasons and was eventually let go by the Bills at the end of May. The Lions, however, just lost fellow tackle Taylor Decker for at least the next four months because of a shoulder injury, so Kouandjio will be brought in for additional help on the line in Detroit. The Lions also recently traded for tackle Greg Robinson, so Kouandjio isn't guaranteed significant snaps or even a spot on the final roster.
Listed at 6-foot-2, 222 pounds, Killebrew is one of the bigger safeties in the league and could thus get playing time as a linebacker in sub packages. The Lions aren't ruling out the possibility, but it sounds as if they mostly plan to use the 2016 fourth-round selection at his natural position. Killebrew could challenge incumbent Tavon Wilson for the starting job at strong safety.
Worrilow was quite the success story during his rookie season with the Falcons in 2013 when he racked up 127 tackles and two sacks as the team's starting middle linebacker after going undrafted out of Delaware. Despite churning out 142 and 95 tackles in each of the two subsequent seasons, he lost his starting spot to second-round rookie Deion Jones in 2016 and ultimately finished the year with only 21 stops. However, Worrilow has a chance to revive his career in Detroit, where there's currently a huge need for talent at outside linebacker, especially after the release of DeAndre Levy. He could fit in at both of the strongside and weakside outside linebacker positions and the Lions' plans to try him out at both spots should help the team determine where he best fits into the defense. Considering how Levy recorded triple-digit tackles in three of four seasons between 2011 and 2014 while operating in an every-down OLB role for the Lions, the potential is there for Worrilow to enjoy a resurgent 2017 campaign if he's able to secure a starting job.
After clearing waivers Tuesday, the Lions placed the tight end on injured reserve, thus retaining his rights while he spends the next year or so in rehabilitation. In three professional seasons with a trio of organizations, the hybrid wideout/tight end has totaled 89 catches (on 125 targets) for 907 yards and 13 touchdowns in 41 games.
Ansah appeared fully recovered from both his most recent shoulder injury -- as well as his lingering ankle issue from the very beginning of the season -- en route to a huge day against one of the league's worst offensive lines. While the former first-rounder finished the regular season with just 35 tackles and two sacks across 13 games, Ansah remains a top-shelf talent that was simply hampered by injury throughout the 2016 campaign. Expect a significant bounce-back effort from the fourth-year defensive end next season.
The 12th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, Hayden never lived up to the hype during his four seasons in Oakland. He ended the 2016 campaign with 37 tackles, six pass deflections and one forced fumble through 11 games. His season ended in late November after he suffered a hamstring injury, forcing the Raiders to place him on injured reserve. Once healthy, Hayden will compete for the starting nickelback position, an area the Lions struggled with throughout last season.
Jones, the Lions' 2014 sixth-round pick out of Notre Dame, spent the first three seasons of his professional career bouncing between the active roster, practice squad and physically unable to perform list. He only appeared in 13 regular-season games along the way, catching just 15 passes for 225 yards and one score. He enters the 2017 campaign poised for the No. 4 receiver job behind Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and 2017 third-rounder Kenny Golladay but is highly unlikely to stay in Detroit much longer if he can't capitalize on the opportunity, considering he faces very little competition for the role.
Playing the team that drafted him, Tate failed to make much of an impact as the entire Lions offense had trouble getting in sync. However, this lack of production doesn't come as a huge surprise considering the Seahawks have been shutting down opposing receivers all season. The former second-rounder will now enter the offseason having topped the 1,000-yard receiving threshold for the second time in three years with Detroit while having not seen less than 128 targets in any single campaign, a level of usage hard to ignore in PPR formats.
After being taken in the fifth round of the 2016 draft, Williams was thrown into the fire his rookie season after the Lions' linebacking corps suffered a slew of injuries. His performance had its ups and downs, but it seems a full offseason in the pros is really helping him understand his role on defense. Although he's in the mix for a starting job in 2017, it seems more likely than not he opens the season rotating in behind Paul Worrilow and Tahir Whitehead. However, given his offseason reviews, Williams seems like a good bet to improve upon his 204 defensive snaps from 2016. In turn, the Georiga Southern product also appears to have favorable odds of topping his first-year totals of 27 tackles and one fumble recovery.
Despite being tabbed as a "limited participant" at OTAs thus far, Riddick reportedly "mostly sat out" of drills as he finishes his rehabilitation from double wrist surgery. It would appear his right wrist is more of a problem than his left at this point.
Detroit continued to address its issues at linebacker Saturday by going after Reeves-Maybin. He came into the year as a potential Day 2 selection after a strong junior season that saw him rack up 105 total tackles and 14.0 tackles for loss. However, Reeves-Maybin had a season-ending shoulder injury early in his senior year and reportedly had a shaky pro day. If Reeves-Maybin is able to recapture his 2015 form, he'll end up being a nice value pick for the Lions in the fourth round.
Over the weekend, Orlovsky was told the team will let his contract expire at the end of the league year in order to go in a different direction at backup quarterback. The main beneficiary in this situation is Jake Rudock, the Lions' sixth-round pick in 2016 who will replace Orlovsky as the No. 2. It isn't clear what sort of market awaits the 33-year-old veteran, but he should be able to latch on somewhere due to his serviceability as a second-string signal caller as well as the veteran presence he could provide a locker room.
Gaston hasn't played in a regular season game since 2015, when he spent time with the Bears and Packers, ending the season with 12 tackles, including a sack, in nine games. The defensive tackle will have a chance to be a depth option and special teams player in Detroit.
Decker recently underwent shoulder surgery on Monday to repair a torn labrum, and he will now be held out for a considerable amount of time. Now, best case scenario looks to be Decker missing the first month of the season, which would result in either Cornelius Lucas, Joe Dahl or Corey Robinson taking his spot as the team's starting left tackle.
Last season, Ebron was the top gun in a tight end group that included very little established talent behind him. Due to this predicament, the 2014 first-rounder couldn't always to play to his strengths because he was often the only tight end on the field and subsequently was responsible for the bulk of the position's duties as both a receiver and a blocker. With Fells around, Detroit has one of the most reliable blocking tight ends in the league. Roberts, on the other hand, is a massive target who caught 16 touchdowns during his final season at Toledo last year and can hold his own in the run game, too. Whether it's by using more two-TE sets or subbing Ebron off the field entirely, both Fells and Roberts could be utilized in a fashion that allows Ebron to stay fresh and focus on his strength as a pass-catcher.
In just his second season in the league, Hyder accrued a team-high eight sacks while finishing ninth in total tackles. However, despite this level of production, he could find himself in competition with Cornelius Washington and potentially a draft pick or two for the starting defensive end job opposite Ziggy Ansah this summer.
Bynes tied MLB Tahir Whitehead for the team lead in tackles Sunday and has now totaled 14 across the past two games. However, Whitehead is working his way back from a knee injury. As the team's leading tackler, Whiteheads return to full strength will likely correspond with a downturn in production for Bynes.
Robinson has largely been considered a disappointment for the Rams since being taken with the second pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. After declining his fifth-year option in May, the Rams decided they wanted to at least get some sort of value out of him and will trade him to the Lions for a conditional pick. In Detroit, Robinson will compete for rights to the top left tackle job, as former starter Taylor Decker is slated to miss at least four months while recovering from a shoulder injury.
Abdullah's 2016 campaign was cut short after getting injured in Week 2, but the Lions were unclear about the extent of his ailment throughout the year. Now, it's finally been disclosed by Abdullah himself, acknowledging it was indeed a Lisfranc injury. Given the timing of the malady, Abdullah was back 100 percent healthy by early March, which allowed him to participate in Detroit's offseason conditioning program. After also going through OTAs in an unlimited capacity, Abdullah then saw the Lions decline to draft a running back, which has him poised to lead the charge once again this season.