Detroit Lions NFL 53-man roster prediction
With the NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, the player acquisition phase of the offseason is almost over.
The Detroit Lions have many players who will enter training camp with them. As a result, the eventual season-opening roster of 53 players will be decided from the currently registered players.
Barring any major additions, it’s likely that Lions head coach Dan Campbell has all the pieces in place to choose from, in his effort to put together a winning roster.
Here’s an early idea of who Detroit might adapt in Week 1 of the 2022 regular season.
- Jared Goff
- Tim Boyle
- David Blough
It’s pretty straightforward at quarterback, as management chose to do nothing to bring in outside talent. Goff will be the starter, but the backup job may still be up for grabs.
Either way, Campbell likes what he has in the quarterback room and opted to bring him back with the same crew. The talent around Goff is much improved, and the offense can be better with continuity.
- By Andre Swift
- jamal williams
- Godwin Igwebuike
- Jason Cabinda (FB)
Swift, Williams and Cabinda are locks, but third running back could be up for grabs. We’re going with Igwebuike over Craig Reynolds and Jermar Jefferson in our first screening, because of the value of Igwebuike’s special teams.
The converted safety struggled with ball control and fumbles when his name was called, but he did a good job returning kicks and was usable in spurts out of the backfield.
If the competition heats up, Detroit might be willing to sacrifice depth in another position to keep an extra return.
Wide Receiver (6)
- Chark DJ
- jameson williams
- Amon-Ra St. Brown
- Kalif Raymond
- Quint Cephus
- Josh Reynolds
The additions of Chark and Williams this offseason give the Lions as much firepower as they’ve had at this position in a while. Williams could start the season on the physically unable to perform list as he has just recovered from an ACL injury. But, he says he’ll be ready for training camp.
St. Brown was dynamite in his first campaign and figures as an important piece going forward.
Raymond will likely handle punt returns and serve as a change of pace option. Meanwhile, Cephus and Reynolds will be vying for reps against Chark as threats on the court.
Tight end (3)
- TJ Hockenson
- Garrett Griffin
- James Mitchell
Hockenson is a lock, but there are other options that could steal spots on the tight end roster. The Iowa product will be one of Goff’s main targets.
With a lack of depth on the tight end, it was difficult for Detroit to create any value from the position outside of Hockenson.
Enter Griffin, a player who played under Campbell during his time as tight ends coach with the New Orleans Saints.
Mitchell is a 2022 fifth-rounder who just suffered an ACL injury. If he’s not successful, seek out Brock Wright, an undrafted free agent last season, to claim a spot.
Offensive line (8)
- Franck Ragnow
- jonas jackson
- Halapoulivaati Vaitai
- Penei Sewell
- Taylor Decker
- matt nelson
- Evan Brown
- Tommy Kramer
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Ragnow’s return from injury will be crucial as he has developed into one of the best young linemen in the league.
Jackson emerges on guard, while bookends from Sewell and Decker give stability to Detroit.
Vaitai could be a potential cap victim as he enters the third year of his contract, but Detroit could use his experience. Nelson, Brown and Kraemer were big players last season as every starting lineman missed at least one game due to injury.
Defensive line (9)
- Michael Brockers
- Levi Onwuzurike
- Alim McNeill
- Aidan Hutchinson
- Romeo Okwara
- Julien Okwara
- Charles Harris
- Josh Pascal
- james houston
The big story is Hutchinson, who will look to help transform a defense that has been historically poor. He will maintain one edge, while either of the Okwara brothers could lead the charge on the other side.
Two other EDGE rookie defensemen, Paschal and Houston, are on the team as Detroit looks to become more versatile. Meanwhile, Austin Bryant could conceivably beat Houston and steal a role on the 53-man roster.
Inside, Detroit has a mix of veterans and young talent. Brockers is the vet, while Onwuzurike and McNeill are entering their second year.
- Alex Anzalone
- Derrick Barnes
- Chris Consulting
- Jarrad Davis
- Malcolm Rodriguez
Anzalone returns to Detroit, having been the top backer last season. He thinks he’s playing the same role, because he has the most experience of anyone in the play. Davis will compete for Reps when he returns, having spent last season with the New York Jets.
Board will be a special teams ace who could be in the mix for reps at linebacker. The growth of Barnes, who struggled with coverage in his rookie year, will be interesting to watch. Then there’s Rodriguez, a talented option who should make the squad.
- Amani Oruwariye
- Jeff Okuda
- Ifetu Melifonwu
- A.J. Parker
- jerry jacobs
- Mike Hughes
Oruwariye was the best player in his position – and perhaps the entire defense – a season ago. The next logical step for him would be to become one of the best young corners in the league.
Injuries are the story of this group, as Okudah and Jacobs will return after major setbacks. Okudah suffered an Achilles tear in Week 1 and should be ready for training camp. Meanwhile, Jacobs suffered a torn ACL in week 15 and has an uncertain timeline.
How Okudah, an Ohio State product, recovers will be important, as he is a former top-three draft pick.
Melifonwu and Parker also dealt with injuries last year, and both are expected to develop. Additionally, Hughes is a free agent with significant experience.
- Tracy Walker III
- Will Harris
- DeShon Elliott
- Kerby Joseph
- CJ Moore
With the re-signing of Walker, the Lions have locked down their maximum security as they attempt to continue their growth on defense. DeShon Elliott signed in free agency, and as long as he’s healthy, he seems like the best option against Walker.
Harris struggled on safety but was successful late in the year as an emergency cornerback. Plus, Moore has special teams value and Joseph thinks he’s contributing as a rookie.
- K Riley Patterson
- jack fox
- LS Scott Daly
Patterson ended the team’s roulette game at the end of the season, finishing 13 for 14 on field goal attempts. How he builds on that will determine his fate, as Austin Seibert and Aldrick Rosas are also on the team’s roster, going forward.
Fox is one of the best punters in the league, and Daly surpassed Don Muhlbach last season to claim the long snapper role.