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Lions 53-Man Roster Preview For The 2022 Season

With the final week of preseason among us, it’s time to take a look at the shape of the Lions’ 53-man roster. Which players might be on the bubble?

With just a few more days of practice left before the final preseason game, some players on the bottom of the Lions’ roster will need to start making some new fall plans. The unfortunate, but necessary reality of the NFL is only the best of the best will make NFL rosters and be active for gamedays. I have updated my roster projection based on evaluation of the first two preseason games, and Training Camp reports, along with some pure speculation.

Evaluating The Lions Offensive Roster Ahead Of Week One

Quarterbacks (Two)

  1. Jared Goff

  2. Tim Boyle

This is still close for me, but at this point, Blough has not done enough to separate himself from Boyle. There is still a chance they carry all three, but I think they will keep Boyle as Goff’s backup and try to store Blough on the practice squad.

Running Backs (Four)

  1. D’Andre Swift

  2. Jamaal Williams

  3. Craig Reynolds

  4. Godwin Igwebuike

Jermar Jefferson is another player I have not seen or heard enough from to justify a roster spot. The former seventh-round pick may be a better runner than Igwebuike, but Godwin plays all phases of special teams well, whereas Jermar does not. Justin Jackson would have to wow the coaches in the final preseason game to draw serious consideration, but I think ultimately he lands with another team after cuts.

Wide Receivers (Six)

  1. DJ Chark

  2. Amon-Ra St. Brown

  3. Josh Reynolds

  4. Kalif Raymond

  5. Trinity Benson

  6. Tom Kennedy

Tom Kennedy has done everything he can to earn a roster spot this preseason. Quintez Cephus just hasn’t been able to stay healthy to show what he can do. I’d rather have the reliable receiving option heading into the season until Jameson Williams gets healthy.


TOM KENNEDY! @Lions 📱: Stream #DETvsIND on NFL+ https://t.co/wdgAWXJg5i pic.twitter.com/2L11oXBLrG — NFL (@NFL) August 20, 2022

Tight End (Four)

  1. T.J. Hockenson

  2. Brock Wright

  3. James Mitchell

  4. Shane Zylstra

With Jason Cabinda starting the season on the PUP list, the Lions are likely to carry four tight ends and use one or multiple of them as the fullback depending on the play call and design. James Mitchell looks to be getting healthy at the right time and Zylstra showed off some of the receiving prowess we saw in flashes last year.

Offensive Line (Eight)

  1. Taylor Decker

  2. Jonah Jackson

  3. Frank Ragnow

  4. Halapoulivaati Vaitai

  5. Penei Sewell

  6. Evan Brown

  7. Logan Stenberg

  8. Matt Nelson

The only change I made to this group was Stenberg in from Kraemer. The top 6 on this list are locked in. They still have the decision to keep between 7 and 9 and if all goes well, will not have to use the reserves much except for jumbo packages and kick protection situations.


Evaluating The Lions Defensive Roster Ahead Of Week One

Defensive Line (11)

  1. Aidan Hutchinson

  2. Alim McNeill

  3. Michael Brockers

  4. Charles Harris

  5. Levi Onwuzurike

  6. Isaiah Buggs

  7. Austin Bryant

  8. John Cominsky

  9. Demetrius Taylor

  10. Julian Okwara

  11. James Houston

A few changes here since my original projection. I think this coaching staff will value keeping these guys rotated in to stay fresh and aggressive, so keeping eleven instead of ten makes sense to me. Cominsky has proved he can play a role and Taylor is worth taking the chance on. Houston still needs time to develop, but they probably won’t risk him being poached from the practice squad.

Linebackers (Five)

  1. Alex Anzalone

  2. Malcolm Rodriguez

  3. Derrick Barnes

  4. Anthony Pittman

  5. Jarrad Davis

Chris Board has been extremely underwhelming so far this training camp and preseason. The coaching staff may take this as an opportunity to send a message to the team, that everyone must show up each and every day, including top free agent acquisitions like Board. Anzalone has been getting the “locked in starter” treatment by the coaching staff and Malcolm “Rodrigo” Rodriguez seems poised to be the young playmaker of the group. Jarrad Davis has been up and down but still serves value on special teams.

Defensive Back (10)

  1. DeShon Elliot

  2. Tracy Walker

  3. Amani Oruwariye

  4. Jeff Okudah

  5. Will Harris

  6. Ifeatu Meifonwu

  7. Chase Lucas

  8. Kerby Joseph

  9. AJ Parker

  10. Mike Hughes

I’m starting to gain more confidence in the secondary’s ability to adapt and react after the first two preseason games. They still give up the deep ball too often, but that should get corrected with more coaching and time to develop as a cohesive unit. Jerry Jacobs should be able to earn his spot back from Mike Hughes or AJ Parker when he fully recovers from his injury.

Special Teams (Three)

  1. Jack Fox

  2. Austin Seibert

  3. Scott Daly

It seems like the coaching staff is giving Seibert every opportunity to win the kicking job, and he hasn’t made any major mistakes to give Patterson the chance to snatch it away thus far.

PUP/NFI List (Four)

  1. Jameson Williams, WR

  2. Romeo Okwara, DL

  3. Josh Paschal, DL

  4. Jason Cabinda, FB

This list of players should earn their spot back on the 53-man roster once they recover from their injuries.

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