Ranking the 2021 Detroit Lions roster: 80-71

Pride of Detroit

Our countdown of the Detroit Lions 89-man roster continues today with players ranked 80 through 71. During a typical year, these players would be longshots to even make the practice squad, but this is anything but a typical year. The Lions have seen major roster overturn, meaning many of the players that don’t already have an apparent role will have a chance to compete—and win—a spot either at the bottom of the roster or on the practice squad.

I’m not sure there’s a single person among the following 10 players who I would discount entirely to make, at the very least, a spot on the practice squad. So let’s get into the next 10 players on our Lions player ranking list.

Note on methodology: Six Pride of Detroit members ranked the entire roster from 89 to 1. This list represents the averaged rankings of all six lists.

Previously:

80. CB Jerry Jacobs (Highest ranking: 73; Lowest: 82)

Last year: N/A

Jacobs has gotten a bit of a following amongst Lions fans thanks to an interview with Lions Reddit’s podcast the “Detroit Lions Podcast’.

The undrafted rookie does, indeed, have an interesting story to be told. He has a lot of the physical tools necessary to make it, but his college film is limited due to a torn ACL in 2019 and opting out after four games in 2020. He’s essentially a lottery ticket.

79. TE Jake Hausmann (Highest: 55; Lowest: 85)

Last year: N/A

It’s clear we don’t think very highly of Detroit’s depth at tight end. Hausmann is the third tight end in the bottom 11 of this roster, above Charlie Taumoepeau (84) and Hunter Thedford (88). But at least one of us believes he’s on the roster bubble (Erik Schlitt, who had him 55). Here’s what Schlitt had to say about Hausmann in his tight end training camp preview article:

“Jake Hausmann, a UDFA out of Ohio State, flashed at camp in the spring and has put himself in the mix for a role. He is a solid blocker, can contribute on special teams, and has the potential to line up as an H-back—something the Lions will be keeping an eye on with Hill no longer on the roster. He will challenge for the TE3 job, but if the Lions keep a TE4, Hausmann’s versatility and blocking prowess could make him the early leader in the clubhouse.”

78. LB Reggie Gilbert (Highest: 64; Lowest: 88)

Last year: N/A

Gilbert has managed to hang around the NFL since 2016. Last year alone he spent time with the Titans, Cardinals, and Jaguars, but never saw the field. Previous to that, though, he started five games for the Titans in 2019, and played 18 games with the Packers in 2017 and 2018.

But despite Gilbert’s experience, he remained unsigned until June this offseason. Behind a fairly established depth chart, he’s a definite longshot to make the roster.

77. S Alijah Holder (Highest: 63; Lowest: 85)

Last year: N/A

Holder was another rookie minicamp tryout that earned his way onto the current roster. He’s actually been in the league since 2019, and has earned some playing time with the Broncos as primarily a special teamer. Given Detroit’s roster issues at safety, Holder could certainly sneak his way onto the 53-man roster.

76. OL Tommy Kraemer (Highest: 61; Lowest 89)

Last year: N/A

An undrafted rookie out of Notre Dame, Kraemer could also be the benefactor of a depth issue for Detroit. With Joe Dahl and Oday Aboushi gone, the Lions need interior offensive line help. Kraemer played tackle and guard in college but is projected to move inside in the NFL. If he catches on quickly to the positional change, he could seriously challenge for a roster spot. However, landing on the practice squad seems like a much more realistic goal for Kraemer.

75. WR Javon McKinley (Highest: 65; Lowest: 89)

Last year: N/A

McKinley’s college career was defined by injuries, but there are very few that doubt his physical tools. At 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, McKinley is a big-bodied type of receiver that the Lions lost in both Marvin Jones Jr. and Kenny Golladay. McKinley was obviously a hot commodity in undrafted free agency, as he earned the biggest contract among the Lions’ UDFA class.

74. S Godwin Igwebuike (Highest: 59; Lowest: 82)

Last year: N/A

An undrafted player in 2018, Igwebuike’s only NFL experience is 64 special teams snaps in his rookie season. Last year, he looked to the XFL to revitalize his career, but the league folded after he was picked in the Supplemental Draft.

Still, Igwebuike is in the same boat as Alijah Holder. A thin roster gives him a real shot at sticking around in Detroit.

73: CB AJ Parker (Highest: 64; Lowest: 80)

Last year: N/A

The Lions moved on from Justin Coleman as their starting nickelback, leaving a huge need for a starting role. While it appears Mike Ford and Corn Elder will fight for that job, Detroit still needs depth at the position. Parker brings loads of college experience at that position and he was a ball hawker in college.

A spot on the 53-man roster seems unlikely, but he’s a definite practice squad candidate.

72. S D’Angelo Amos (Highest: 60; Lowest: 81)

Last year: N/A

D’Angelo Amos, like the rest of the safeties, could benefit from a weak roster, but he has an ace up his sleeve that Igwebuike and Holder don’t. He can be a return man.

He’ll have to beat out the likes of Kalif Raymond and Victor Bolden for the return job—both of whom have proven they can do it at the NFL level—but he may be a player worth keeping around on the practice squad to eventually develop into a specialist.

71. WR Chad Hansen (Highest: 55; Lowest: 89)

Last year: N/A

It’s clear our staff doesn’t quite agree on Chad Hansen’s chances to make the roster. He was only added recently—likely due to his previous connection to Jared Goff at the University of California. To be fair, though, Hansen did pull in 17 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown as a member of the Houston Texans.

As someone who can play both the outside and in the slot, Hansen’s versatility could give him the edge over guys like Victor Bolden, Geronimo Allison, and Kalif Raymond. But he’ll have to have a fantastic camp to jump the likes of Quintez Cephus.

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