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Analyzing the Detroit Lions practice squad

8/31/2014

The Detroit Lions finalized their practice squad on Sunday afternoon, and they didn't really venture too far from the players they already knew.

All 10 of the team's signings were players who were cut during the day Saturday. Here's the complete list:

Running back George Winn, fullback Emil Igwenagu, wide receiver Andrew Peacock, tight end Jordan Thompson, offensive guard Rodney Austin, offensive tackle Michael Williams, defensive tackle Xavier Proctor, linebacker Julian Stanford, cornerback Mohammed Seisay and safety Nate Ness.

Looking at this group, the first thing standing out is the Lions knew what they were doing when they claimed Igwenagu off of waivers early in the week. They wanted to get an extended look at him over other players they had no real interest in keeping. He has some experience in NFL games, too, so that makes him attractive at a position where a late-in-the-week pickup could be difficult.

Winn, Peacock and Seisay seemed targeted for the practice squad from the middle of camp, although Winn and Seisay made runs at the 53-man roster at points during camp. Austin and Williams were players I thought would end up on the final roster and gives Detroit some backup in case a lineman goes down during the week.

With Austin, this feels somewhat like his last chance considering the team signed him during the season when Tennessee expressed interest in bringing him up to its 53-man roster. Detroit did instead, and that he dropped back to the practice squad screams that he still has to prove something.

Williams is a player the Lions like, but he is still learning how to play offensive tackle as he makes a transition from tight end. Should he improve, he'll be competing for a roster spot in 2015 without question. The Lions also kept a tight end, Thompson, but he didn't do much to distinguish himself in camp. It will be interesting to see if Michael Egnew, who the team picked up earlier in the week, ends up with another team.

Proctor ends up on the practice squad again and Stanford, who the team signed last season and did well on special teams, comes back as a practice squad linebacker. Stanford, especially, could be a quick call-up if the team need special teams help.

This is going to be a fluid list, though, and this is definitely an area in which the Lions won't stay firm in depending on what happens around the league and with their own 53-man roster.