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Detroit Lions 53-man roster position grades for 2022

Detroit Lions roster relatively Once complete, take a look at the team they’ve assembled and note their strengths and weaknesses. Now is a good time to evaluate the roster, as we know who will be in nearly every position.

For a quick look, you can check out last year’s team performance here.

This year, these stats are heavily based on the starters at each position, but the depth of including practice teams and players scheduled to return from injury will be considered in the final stats.

quarterback

starter: Jared Goff
backup: Nate Sudfeld

Goff has had a great training camp and certainly has reason to be optimistic about the regular season carrying over. We’ve all seen how Goff ended the 2021 season, with his supporting cast far better than last year.

But let’s not go too far here.Goff is still many Prove. He’s only played one game this preseason game, and questions remain about how he’ll handle both the literal pressure from other defenses and the pressure of mounting expectations. .

The backup situation is a bit confusing. Sudfeld is acceptable at his level of talent, but considering he’s just joined the team, the Lions are very vulnerable if Goff suffers an injury or illness early in the season. If they have to, they’ll have to limit their playbook significantly, and Sudfeld probably isn’t the best teacher help for Goff right now.

Grade: C-

running back

starter: Dandle Swift, Jamal Williams
backup: Craig Reynolds
practice game: Justin Jackson, Jermer Jefferson
Returned from injury: Jason Cabinda (Reserve/PUP)

The Lions have been talking about Swift quite a bit, but will the former second-round pick live up to expectations? He has to prove it. We’ve seen enough flashes of Swift’s game to know what he’s really capable of. Although “Thunder”, he is assuming a new leadership role on the team and is a relatively reliable short-range back.

The Lions have managed to maintain all of their impressive depth from the preseason, with the exception of Godwin Igwejke, providing a very well-rounded unit.

Grade: B.

tight end

starter: TJ Hockenson
backup: Brock Wright, Shane Zylstra, James Mitchell
practice game: Garrett Griffin, Derrick Deeds

It’s time for Hockenson to prove whether he’s an above-average tight end or can truly jump into the elite category. Developing his blocking skills remains his biggest hurdle to taking the next step, but he can also improve with yardage after catches.

When it comes to team depth, it’s all about youth. Wright and Zylstra were his second-year picks undrafted last season, and while they look to be improving in camp, they still have a long way to go to prove they can contribute consistently. Mitchell, the team’s fifth-round pick, has the most potential in the group, but isn’t quite ready at the moment.

Grade: C+

wide receiver

starter: DJ Chark, Amon La St. Brown, Josh Reynolds
backup: Caliph Raymond, Quintess Kefas
practice game: Tom Kennedy, Maurice Alexander
Returned from injury: Jameson Williams (Reserve/NFI)

Last year the group won an F. Oh what a difference a year makes. St. Brown is at the height of stardom. Reynolds gave the Lions a spark towards the end of last season, Praised as one of the camp’s most improved playersThrow in hungry DJ Chark and Jameson Williams midseason and the group could make a big splash this year.

There are also many players at depth who have proven to be able to contribute to the attack. Raymond will still get a lot of attention on offense, but Cefs, if healthy, brings some physical skills to the position.

Grade: B+

offensive line

starter: Taylor Decker, Jonah Jackson, Frank Ragnow, Halaporivati ​​Vaitai, Penay Sewell
backup: Matt Nelson, Evan Braun, Tommy Kramer, Logan Stenberg
practice game: Dan Skipper, Obinna Eze

Expectations are very high for starters in this group. These he’s seen all five play well individually, but as a group they’ve only played together in preseason. There could literally be three Pro Bowlers in this unit by the end of the year. This is how high expectations a first-round pick has for her three-man group.

However, depth certainly raises some legitimate concerns. With Nelson struggling in the role last year, the Lions don’t have reliable backup offensive tackles, and Dan Skipper and Obinna Eze are “emergency break” options. However, the depth inside is much more promising. Brown may be the best backup his center in the league, and Kramer and Stenberg are both inexperienced but have shown a lot of growth over the past year.

Class A-

line of defense

starter: Aidan Hutchinson, Michael Blockers, Alim McNeil, Charles Harris
backup: Levi Onzrike, Isaiah Baggs, Demetrius Taylor, Benito Jones, Julian Okwala, Austin Bryant, John Kominsky
practice game: James Huston, Bruce Hector
Returned from injury: Romeo Okwara (reserved/PUP), Josh Paschal (reserved/PUP)

Detroit looks much better on the edge with the breakout season of Charles Harris last year and the addition of No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson. He even faced a pair of talented offensive tackles. Austin Bryant had a great offseason as a rotation reserve. If Romeo Okwala can come back and deliver meaningful plays, this could be one of the most talented units on the team.

However, the interior raises more questions. Michael Brockers hasn’t rejuvenated, nor does he look like the disruptor they want or need. Levy He On Uzrike and Josh Pascal are no closer to returning from injury and will lose valuable time to recover. Demetrius Taylor looks like a good find, but expectations remain relatively low for an undrafted rookie. Detroit’s nose pair of tackles, Isaiah Baggus and Benito his Jones, are the newest members of the team, and together he’s made seven starts at the NFL level.

However, Alim McNeill could be a star. After seeing a flash of light last year, the Lions coaches were thrilled with his progress in his second year.

Grade: C+

linebacker

starter: Alex Anzalone, Malcolm Rodriguez/Derrick Burns
backup: Chris Boad, Josh Woods
practice game: Jarad Davis, Anthony Pittman

Camp expectations were very low for this unit. We scoffed when a coach told us the competition would bring out the best in young, unproven players.

Well, fast forward a month and Round 6 rookie Malcolm Rodriguez played so well that he’s considering starting work in Week 1.

“Derrick Burns is coming, it’s real. He’s a very explosive, very violent, very strong linebacker.”

But I’m not quite ready to crown this unit just yet. I do not intend to give

But I like the depth of this team. Chris Board and Josh Woods are both good special teams and have considerable advantages defensively.

Grade: C-

corner back

starter: Amani Orwalier, Jeff Okuda, Mike Hughes
backup: Will Harris, Bobby Price, Chase Lucas
practice game: AJ Parker, Syvion Smith
Returned from injury: Jerry Jacobs (Reserve/PUP)

This is another unit that came into camp with many questions. Many of them remain unanswered. Okuda has done a great job proving that he has no physical limitations due to an Achilles injury, and his improvement throughout camp has been very promising. I am immature and have a lot to prove.

Amani Orwalier didn’t play much in preseason. He showed a lot of improvement last year, but it remains to be seen if he can be more than his mid-to-low CB1 in this league.

Depth is a big concern here, as the Lions don’t have a reliable outside cornerback in their reserves until Jacobs returns from the PUP.

Nickel is in a relatively good position. Hughes isn’t a top-level player at this position, but the Lions have a young development element in Chase Lucas and he has experience on the practice team in AJ Parker.

Grade: D+

safety

starter: Tracy Walker, DeShon Elliott
backup: Ifeatu Melifonwu, Kerby Joseph, JuJu Hughes

The Lions are understandably happy with Walker as the starter and leader of this defense. In contrast, Elliott has to prove he can stay healthy all season long, but he’s shown at least average safety on the field.

Again, depth is a serious issue here. With Meliffonw starting the season with an injury, Detroit is far from starting very raw rookies Kirby Joseph or Juju Hughes.

Grade: C-

specialist

starters: Jack Fox (P), Austin Seibert (K), Scott Daley (LS)
practice game: Aldric Rosas (K)

After both Seibert and Riley Patterson displayed their fair share of inconsistencies during camp, I doubt the Lions are happy with the kick situation. However, Seibert has big feet that help him off the field and his goals over 50 yards out give the team a chance to win the late game.

Fox is still one of the best punters in the league, and Daly has had no problems his year succeeding Don Muhlbach, so no worries for punters or long snappers at all.

Grade: B.

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