Detroit Lions: Jacob Maxwell

The offseason workouts have concluded and with players and coaches about six weeks away from the start of training camp, one last rest and individualized training period will commence.

After a month of workouts, though, there have been some players who have made cases for potential roster spots in the fall and others who did not help themselves nearly as much.

Just like the start of the spring workouts, here is a look at the Detroit depth chart – along with a post-minicamp guess at the 53-man roster that could end up being the Lions’ team in the fall. Remember, a lot can change between now and then.

Changes from our May offensive prediction are in parentheses.

QUARTERBACK:

Projected starter: Matthew Stafford (no change)

Backups (in projected depth-chart order for now): Dan Orlovsky; Kellen Moore; James Franklin (no changes)

Thoughts: Stafford remains Detroit’s starter and barring injury, that won’t change. Orlovsky will be the No. 2 quarterback – and that probably isn’t changing, either. The main battle in camp will be between Moore and Franklin for the No. 3 spot, if the Lions take a third quarterback. Franklin took no snaps in the spring, but Lions head coach Jim Caldwell indicated he’ll see live game action in the preseason.

Roster locks: Stafford; Orlovsky (add Orlovsky)

If picking the roster today, these guys would be on it: Stafford, Orlovsky, Franklin (practice squad) (Franklin from 53-man to practice squad)

RUNNING BACK

Projected starter(s): Reggie Bush/Joique Bell

Backups (in projected depth-chart order): Theo Riddick, Mikel Leshoure, Steven Miller.

Thoughts: Bush and Bell aren’t going anywhere. Riddick was one of the stars of the spring and looks like he’ll end up having a role in the offense beyond special teams this season. Leshoure missed part of spring workouts, so it is tough to say where his role will be this season, if he has one. But Detroit has its first three running backs pretty set right now unless it makes a free-agent move at the position.

Roster locks: Bush, Bell, Riddick (add Riddick)

If picking the roster today, these guys would be on it: Bush, Bell, Riddick, Leshoure (no changes)

FULLBACK

Projected starter: Jed Collins.

Backups (in projected depth-chart order): Montell Owens, Chad Abram.

Thoughts: This is a tough position to pick. Collins is the clear favorite heading into camp, although Owens’ spot on the roster could depend how Detroit feels about the rest of its teams units. If there is comfort there from other spots, Owens might be out of a job. If not, the Lions might keep him along with Collins because Owens can be a running back as well. Abram is probably headed toward the practice squad.

Roster locks: None. (no changes)

If picking the roster today, these guys would be on it: Collins, Owens, Abram (practice squad) (add Owens to 53-man, move Abram to practice squad)

WIDE RECEIVER

Projected starters: Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate

Backups (in projected depth-chart order): Jeremy Ross, Ryan Broyles, Kris Durham, Kevin Ogletree, TJ Jones, Corey Fuller, Naaman Roosevelt, Patrick Edwards, Cody Wilson, Andrew Peacock.

Thoughts: This was the spring of Jeremy Ross. He will make the roster at least as the team’s returner but probably showed enough during the spring to at least enter training camp with a good shot at being the team’s third or fourth receiver. Another surprise was Broyles, who if he can stay healthy could end up making a contribution in the fall. He isn’t a roster lock yet, but will certainly get some opportunities. The competition for the third (or fourth) outside receiver will be one to watch in the fall.

Roster locks: Johnson, Tate, Ross (add Ross)

If picking the roster today, these guys would be on it: Johnson, Tate, Ross, Durham, Broyles, Jones, Fuller (practice squad). (Add Broyles to roster from PUP, move Fuller from roster to practice squad.)

TIGHT END

Projected starters: Eric Ebron, Brandon Pettigrew.

Backups (in projected depth-chart order): Joseph Fauria, Jordan Thompson, Jacob Maxwell.

Thoughts: Moving Michael Williams to tackle all but assured Fauria a roster spot in the fall. It also means Detroit is probably going to carry only three tight ends on the roster unless either Thompson or Maxwell makes a massive move during training camp. The other thing benefiting Fauria is Ebron’s struggles with catching the ball at times.

Roster locks: Ebron, Pettigrew, Fauria. (Add Fauria)

If picking the roster today, these guys would be on it: Ebron, Pettigrew, Fauria. (Minus Williams)

OFFENSIVE TACKLE

Projected starters: Riley Reiff (LT); LaAdrian Waddle (RT).

Backups (in projected depth-chart order): Corey Hilliard, Cornelius Lucas, Michael Williams, J.B. Shugarts, Bryce Quigley.

Thoughts: This position seems fairly settled other than the No. 4 tackle spot. Reiff and Waddle aren’t going anywhere and Hilliard will likely push Waddle for a starting spot. As of now, Lucas has the inside shot on the fourth tackle position.

Roster locks: Reiff, Waddle (no changes)

If picking the roster today, these guys would be on it: Reiff, Waddle, Hilliard, Lucas.

GUARD

Projected starters: Rob Sims (LG); Larry Warford (RG).

Backups (in projected depth-chart order): Rodney Austin, Travis Swanson, Alex Bullard, D.J. Morrell.

Thoughts: Warford is not going anywhere and Rodney Austin had a good enough spring that both he and Swanson might make the roster as swing backups that could end up as starters by 2015 to replace Sims and Dominic Raiola. As long as Sims is healthy, he’ll make this team and start as well. The interesting question might be a practice squad candidate out of this group.

Roster locks: Warford (no changes)

If picking the roster today, these guys would be on it: Warford, Sims, Austin, Bullard (practice squad)

CENTER

Projected starter: Dominic Raiola

Backups (in projected depth-chart order): Swanson, Austin, Darren Keyton, Bullard.

Thoughts: Raiola is the starter here. Austin and Swanson will eventually compete for the starter’s role. Pretty cut and dry here.

Roster locks: Raiola, Swanson. (no changes)

If picking the roster today, these guys would be on it: Raiola, Swanson.
The Lions, lying in wait for the new year...

Trying to figure out what Detroit Lions undrafted free agents might stick around?

One of the keys, at least initially, could lie in the signing bonuses the team doled out to various players -- both increasing their salary cap numbers a small amount but also what they had to give to lure the player to Detroit over somewhere else. At this point, this might be the easiest thing to go on as the Lions are still working their way through organized team activities.

Usually, one might be able to tell what undrafted players are picking things up easier, but with every player learning a new system this season in Detroit, more experienced guys are going to get more reps. With all of these players, this will be the only guaranteed money they get.

Tackle Cornelius Lucas was given the biggest bonus of all the Lions undrafted free agents at $20,000. He was one of three offensive linemen to receive bonuses. A.J. Dalton got a $2,500 bonus and Alex Bullard a $500 bonus.

Other than Lucas, fullback Chad Abram received the second-largest bonus at $7,500. Tight end Jacob Maxwell earned $3,000, wide receiver Andrew Peacock got $2,500 and quarterback James Franklin received $2,000.

Maybe this isn't surprising considered how Detroit has spent recently, but all of the Lions bonuses came on offense according to ESPN's Stats and Information.

And now, a look around the Interwebs in search of Lions news:
The Detroit Lions announced their undrafted free agents on Monday afternoon -- 11 of them in all -- and over the next few days, you'll get brief primers on all of them here as the team prepares for rookie minicamp this weekend.

Other profiles: OT Cornelius Lucas; QB James Franklin; FB Chad Abram; OL Alex Bullard; S Jerome Couplin; LB Justin Jackson; DB Gabe Lynn

Name: Jacob Maxwell

Position: Tight end

School: Louisiana-Lafayette

ESPN pre-draft position rank: No. 63 tight end

Career College Stats: 35 games, 50 targets, 36 receptions, 377 yards, 6 TDs.

Depth chart he’s looking at: Starters – Eric Ebron, Brandon Pettigrew. Depth – Joseph Fauria, Michael Williams, Jordan Thompson.

Chances of making it to camp: 75 percent.

Why him: Special teams. If there is one thing Detroit is not going to need, it is another tight end who even thinks about making plays. The Lions have Ebron, Pettigrew and Fauria to do that. Chances are those three tight ends end up making the roster for Detroit. If there is a fourth tight end, it will likely be one who can play extensively on teams and be a blocker if necessary.

That’s where Maxwell fits in. During his first two seasons at Louisiana-Lafayette he played teams and he had 10 special-teams tackles as a sophomore. If Maxwell has any shot at making the roster – or even practice squad – he would have to make a massive contribution on special teams during camp. He is more of a blocking tight end – think like a backup for Pettigrew – than he would be in the mold of Ebron or Fauria. For that reason, he is probably competing with Williams and Thompson, who can also long snap, for any potential roster spot.

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