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Detroit Lions Need Boise State's Kellen Moore on 53-man Roster to Solidify QB Corps Behind Matt Stafford

Will the Lions Keep Moore on the 53-man Roster? Coach Jim Schwartz Isn't Opposed to Having Two QBs

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY| Among the undrafted free agents the Detroit Lions took on after the 2012 NFL Draft, former Boise State Broncos quarterback Kellen Moore is by far the most notable.

Moore, who owns the NCAA's record for career-wins with 50, has been praised by the Lions organization, namely GM Martin Mayhew and coach Jim Schwartz. However, Moore, who reportedly is the "frontrunner" for the Lions' third-string job, may not make the team's 53-man roster come fall.

"We'll see how it shakes (out)," Schwartz said. "We're going to keep our best 53 players when we get out of training camp. To make that decision now is not a wise decision. We've got to see who our best 53 is. Last year, we kept three, but it doesn't mean that we'll keep three this year and it doesn't mean that we'll keep two. It's just really dependent on how it goes and who earns a spot on the 53-man roster."

According to an MLive.com report, more than one-third of NFL teams kept two quarterbacks on their rosters in 2011.

Stafford's injury history warrants keeping three quarterbacks, though -- at least keeping three with the current version of the Lions, assuming Hill maintains his spot. Letting Moore go would be a mistake. While Hill, a veteran, has been somewhat effective in Stafford's absence, he's aging. Moore is arguably better, despite sitting behind Hill on the depth chart. Moore's mobility, arm, competitive nature and youth should be enough for the Lions to think twice about releasing him.

The logic of keeping two quarterbacks -- and not three -- is sound. There are only 53 spots on the roster. Why have one occupied by a player who won't see the field, like Stanton? Roster management is tricky, and if the Lions are going to prove that 2011's 10-6 record wasn't a fluke, they'll need all the talent they can carry.

Moore, though, isn't Stanton. Many questioned the Lions' rationale behind keeping the former Michigan State Spartans star on the roster for as long as they did. Nothing against him, but Stanton was clearly not the right player to relieve Stafford. Whether it was the system or his physical limitations, Stanton never appeared to a solid fit in Detroit.

While Moore stands just 6-feet tall, he makes up for that lack of height with an accurate arm. He completed 70 percent of his passes while at Boise State, and was close to a 5:1 touchdown to interception ratio (142 touchdowns, 28 picks).

Schwartz's words shouldn't be considered a bleak forecast for Moore. It's too early to tell, at this point, how many of the free agents will make the team. Moore has the background many of his peers don't. His work ethic will likely fuel his desire to prove that he's less a No. 3 starter and closer to a No. 2.

Hill was ranked as the No. 9 free agent quarterback available on a recent list by CBS. Most of the players mentioned have already signed with teams. A couple notable moves include Vince Young signing with the Buffalo Bills and Matt Flynn with the Seattle Seahawks.

Moore is comparable to the rest of the lesser-known remaining in the field. Why let a potential good thing go for the sake of letting it go?

Adam Biggers has followed the NFL for over 20 years, specifically the Detroit Lions. He can be found on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.

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