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Detroit Lions Breakdown of First 13-Player Practice Squad for 2022

It’s been a busy few days for the Detroit Lions. The organization established an initial 53-man roster, claimed to have taken nose tackle Benito Jones off waivers from the Dolphins, signed quarterback Nate Sudfeld, and in a corresponding move moved quarterback David Blau. and Jermer Jefferson, and also established the first 13-man practice team.

The NFL made some new rule changes this offseason, including tweaking how teams use practice teams. We agreed to keep the practice team on a permanent basis. Another carryover rule allows teams to promote practice team players to their active roster on game days. Last season the player only allowed him two promotions in one season, but in 2022 the player will be allowed his three gameday promotions.

As we saw last season, these heights can play a key role in managing Gameday, and based on history, several players on this list will be in regular season action at some point this year. You may see

Now let’s see which players are on the team.

Justin Jackson, RB

The Lions added Jackson after rookie Greg Bell went down with a season-ending injury, and he slowly progressed into a more comfortable position on the roster.As camp progressed, Jackson improved his skills as a runner. demonstrated, leading the team in preseason rushing yards, and even returning kicks in Pittsburgh in pass games and special teams. This balanced set of skills and productivity makes him a reliable fourth choice for running his back in his room.

Tom Kennedy, WR

A preseason darling, Kennedy stepped up to join the second team and took over the first two games of the preseason after Quintess Sefs suffered an injury midway through training camp. His lack of contribution to special teams may have kept him out of the 53-man roster, but Kennedy proved he could work as a WR-Y out of the slot, making him an ideal practice. Made a team player. If the Lions need a game day injury replacement, Kennedy offers them a reliable option for promotion.

Maurice Alexander, WR

After leading the USFL in kick return yards and averages, the Lions brought in Alexander to step up their competition on special teams. He was a repeater in the preseason, especially in Game 2, but will need to expand his games in other phases of his team’s offense and specials if he wants to get a job on an active roster. Still, as a born return man, Alexander gives the Lions a positive option when they need a boost.

Garrett Griffin, TE/H Buck

Griffin worked in the Lions’ top unit, but fullback Jason Cabinda was sidelined with an injury. He’s a solid blocker and potential his H-back he could be an option, but Cabinda is at least his first 4 of the season after being placed on the Reserve/PUP list. Miss the week.

Derek Deese Jr., TE

Upside rookie Deese is an inline tight end in the H-back range, and the Lions saw enough potential in him at San Jose State to give him a $100,000 guaranteed UDFA contract. Training at his camp, he regularly showed during his season that he still had a way to go before he was ready to see the NFL field. Deese isn’t quite as advanced as Brock Wright at this point last season, but it’s no surprise that he’s followed a similar career path.

Dan Skipper, OT

The skipper may have been the Lions’ third-best offensive tackle during the preseason, but he doesn’t have the range of Matt Nelson, which may have cost him an OT3 spot on the roster. The skipper has been on and off with the Lions, bouncing back and forth between practice squads and active rosters for the last three seasons, so they know what he’s made of as a player.

Obinna Eze, OT

Ez struggled quite a bit in training camp, in part because he was new to football and transitioning from left tackle to right tackle. When Ez lined up at left tackle, we could see his natural ability, but he had minimal college experience (one game started) and took time to adjust to the right flank. Ez is a project for the future, but could develop into a future swing tackle as he gains right-side muscle memory.

Bruce Hector, DL

Like Skipper, Hector is a reliable veteran choice in the Lions’ trenches. With his six defensive tackles currently on the roster, Hector’s path to gameday promotion isn’t clear, but he spent all of last season in the practice squad as a protected player. rice field. This shows how the team sees his value.

James Houston, EDGE

It didn’t take long for the potential coaches to realize they needed to scale back for Houston. They relied heavily on his skill at pass rushing, which is his greatest trait. During camp, Houston showed the potential to lead to a sixth-round pick for the Lions, but it was also clear he needed to add functional strength and develop his overall skill set. Developing into a responsive pass rushing specialist is definitely an advantage, and the practice team is the ideal place to hone those skills.

Anthony Pittman, LB

One of the Lions’ surprise cuts, Pitman, a Special Teams ace and versatile linebacker, just missed a spot in LB5 and lost a roster battle to another Special Teams weapon, Josh Woods. If Woods struggles, linebackers suffer injuries, or the Lions feel the special teams need more depth, Pitman’s name should be at the top of the list.

Jarad Davis, LB

The Lions’ former first-round pick has had a fair amount of experience in the NFL, but coaches love him, and Davis is sure to bring some veteran leadership to his team, even off the practice team. At this stage in his career, Davis’ stack has been well documented as he struggles at linebacker, but his ability to pass rushes is a unique opportunity that could help him see the field this season. characteristics remain.

AJ Parker, NB

Starting Nickel Corner last year, Parker’s physical nature and petite frame haven’t always worked in harmony. The Lions need their slot defensive his back to be physical, and while Parker is happy to throw himself into contention, he struggled to maintain his physicality and lost several games last season because of it. Missed. He added his 10 pounds of muscle this offseason and looked solid in the preseason (except Game 1), but Mike Hughes did better and won the starting role. Still, Parker was definitely a priority for the staff to stay on the practice team.

Savion Smith, CB

Smith loves to hit and does it well on run defense and special teams, but his coverage skills need to be honed. Smith’s best asset now is his ability to contribute to special teams, and he remains an option for promotion in case of injury or if someone struggles.

Keep an eye on…

The Lions have filled only 13 of the 16 spots on the practice team, and Wednesday’s waivers of David Braff and Jermer Jefferson seem like logical choices to secure two of them. Both players made his first 53-man roster for the Lions, and the Lions were able to further bolster their practice squad with a quarterback and running his back respectively.

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