2018 Detroit Lions

Don Wassall

Staff member
Sep 30, 2004
The Lions started 2017 with a surprising 20 Whites on the roster, and 7 White starters. This year they still have 7 White starters thanks to a snow plow offensive line but the overall number on the roster has dropped to 15.

QB - Matt Stafford, Matt Cassel
TE - Luke Willson
LT - Taylor Decker, Andrew Donnal
LG - Frank Ragnow, Joe Dahl
C - Graham Glasgow
RG - T. J. Lang, Kenny Wiggins
RT - Ricky Wagner
FB - Nick Bellore

PK - Matt Prater
P - Sam Martin
LS - Don Muhlbach

Zach Zenner is on IR, as is FB Nick Bawden. QB Jake Rudock is the only honky on the practice squad.

Nick Bellore may technically qualify as an eighth starter as he's the only fullback on the roster, but it remains to be seen how much he'll be utilized, if at all. Bellore was a quite competent linebacker before making this rather strange position change, which all but guarantees he'll be out of the league soon.

The all-White o-line is nice to see, and all the backups but one are also White. Hopefully they'll allow Matt Stafford to do his thing, namely fire the ball all over the field for lots of yards and touchdowns. And one of his favorite targets should be Luke Willson, a top athlete with great hands who languished on the Seattle plantation before the Lions smartly signed him. Willson had the top SPARQ score of all tight ends in 2013 and also ran a 4.5 40. To the perpetual slack-jawed amazement of DWFs, Willson has a good chance of joining Gary Barnidge, Cameron Brate, Jack Doyle and a bunch of other previously written-off White tight ends as an offensive weapon in 2018.

The defense is barren of White players.

Even though they are above the pathetic NFL average in White starters and roster members, the Lions are often an infuriating team. Zach Zenner showed enough in 2016 to be a starter and quite possibly a three-down workhorse but was hardly used last year, while receivers like Jace Billingsley and Jared Abbrederis were caste aside. Besides waiving Billingsley, new head coach Matt Patricia also inexplicably cut Anthony Zettel, who was one of the better defensive ends in the league last year.

Number of White starters: 7

Number of Whites on 53 man roster: 15

Grade: D