Ranking the 2022 Detroit Lions 89-man roster: Players 70-61

Pride of Detroit

We’ve reached the point in our 2022 Detroit Lions roster rankings countdown where we’re starting to rub up against the roster bubble. While we’ve likely already listed a few players who will end up on the team’s 53-man regular season roster, the majority of the guys we listed from 89-71 will end up scrapping for a spot on the practice squad.

But now that we’re cracking into the 60s, just about everyone listed below has a real path to the roster. It’s not going to be easy for most of these guys, and they’re probably entering August on the outside looking in, but with a strong performance in training camp and the preseason, we could very well see many of these players not only cracking the roster, but contributing on Sundays.

For a reminder on how this list is curated, here’s an explainer from Part 1 of the series:

So over the past couple of weeks, Pride of Detroit staffers have been submitting their full roster rankings from No. 89* to No. 1. The list below represents the average rankings of all seven staffers who participated: Jeremy Reisman, Erik Schlitt, Morgan Cannon, John Whiticar, Jerry Mallory, Ryan Mathews, and Hamza Baccouche.

Let’s get into it.

Previously:

70. TE Garrett Griffin (Highest ranking: 60; Lowest ranking: 77)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Griffin was added in the third wave of free agency, and will be firmly entrenched in Detroit’s TE3 competition. With little set behind starter T.J. Hockenson, he’ll have a shot to compete and no one on Detroit’s roster has more experience at tight end at the NFL level than Griffin. He’s played in 20 games over five seasons, with all of that time being spent alongside Dan Campbell in New Orleans. However, Griffin’s game is very limited. He’s solely an in-line tight end, and I’m not sure his blocking skills are special enough to warrant keeping a roster spot for a relatively unversatile option.

69. TE Devin Funchess (Highest: 57; Lowest: 75)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Funchess was added just before the Lions broke for summer, but he’s an intriguing piece to this roster. A former second-round pick who once caught 63 passes for 840 yards and eight touchdowns in a single season for the Panthers, Funchess was signed with the expectation that he’ll be moving from wide receiver to tight end. He hasn’t played that position since his college days at Michigan, but he was pretty good at it. He’s obviously more of a receiving tight end on the Lions’ roster, but if he can slide back into a more balanced role in the Lions offense, he’s a legitimate option to win a 53-man roster spot.

68. S Brady Breeze (Highest: 58; Lowest: 78)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

A waiver claim towards the end of last season, Breeze played almost exclusively on special teams—but a lot of them. He was in on 72 special teams snaps over the final four games of the season.

As a 2021 sixth-round pick, there is certainly some potential there. Breeze even saw some time with the first-string defense this spring—albeit because of injury to other—but much like 79th-ranked JuJu Hughes, Breeze could be a sleeper here.

67. WR Tom Kennedy (Highest: 61; Lowest: 70)

Last year’s ranking: 64

Kennedy slides a few slots after jumping eight spots to 64 last season. The interesting thing about this is that Kennedy is actually coming off his most successful season. Not only did Kennedy appear in 12 games, but he caught six passes for 52 yards and even threw a touchdown pass on a trick play.

His small slide is likely a result of Detroit’s roster improving, especially at the wide receiver position.

66. OT Dan Skipper (Highest: 59; Lowest: 73)

Last year’s ranking: 62

Skipper saw a similar slide in this year’s ranking, and this is likely due to reserve offensive tackle Matt Nelson clearly establishing himself as the team’s OT3. Skipper, now one of the oldest offensive linemen on the roster at 27, enters training camp with some serious work to do to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.

65. C Ryan McCollum (Highest: 30; Lowest: 89)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Obviously, there is no consensus on where McCollum belongs on this roster. His rankings had by far the most variance of anyone else on this list, and it’s hard to exactly figure out why. McCollum is almost certainly not going to make the 53-man roster, because Evan Brown firmly established himself as the team’s primary backup center.

Injuries forced McCollum into the lineup several times last season, including one start. And while, at times, McCollum looked relatively comfortable (the Lions rushed for 118 yards during his only start), generally speaking, he looked in over his head (49.5 PFF grade).

Still, it was McCollum’s rookie season, so some slack is deserved.

64. QB David Blough (Highest: 56; Lowest: 69)

Last year’s ranking: 54

Blough’s slide here is likely unrelated to the Lions’ roster potentially getting better. Instead, it is likely more based on the fact that Blough couldn’t beat out Boyle in training camp. And when Boyle struggled in the regular season, it was a further indictment of Blough’s status.

Blough did not end up playing a single game last year, though coaches continue to sing his praises both on the field and as a resource in the quarterback room.

63. LB Josh Woods (Highest: 56; Lowest: 75)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Woods was brought to the Lions early last season to reunite with his former position coach Mark DeLeone. He made 12 game appearances last year for Detroit, but only played significant snaps on defense twice. His biggest contributions came on special teams, where he was a four-phase contributor and earned a solid 72.9 PFF grade with that unit.

Given that Detroit’s linebacker group is set up for a “bloodbath,” Woods’ skills on special teams could be a way he sneaks onto the roster, but he’ll have to prove capable of being a reserve on defense in training camp.

62. EDGE John Cominsky (Highest: 59; Lowest: 67)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Cominsky was a waiver claim two months ago and a good fit on the Lions defense as a player capable of sliding inside and providing solid run defense. As a former fourth-round pick who is still just 26 years old, Cominksy likely has some untapped upside to go along with his 27 games of NFL experience. Detroit’s edge room is suddenly crowded after the additions of Aidan Hutchinson and Josh Paschal in the draft—the latter of which will fill the same role as Cominsky on this defense.

61. LB Anthony Pittman (Highest: 47; Lowest: 64)

Last year’s ranking: 59

Pittman continues to trend in this range of players of sliding down a few spots in this year’s rankings. This is especially interesting, because typically in these lists, players who have experience and just received a bump in playing time see a jump in these rankings.

After having just played one game in his first two years in the NFL, Pittman made an appearance in all 17 games in 2021—though, again, primarily as a special teamer. Perhaps his inability to make the field on defense (just 76 total snaps) caused his slide in rankings. Perhaps the top-60 players are simply better this time around.

Still, Pittman has a good chance to make the roster given that he led the team comfortably in special teams snaps last year.

Articles You May Like

Scouting report: Detroit Lions vs. Seattle Seahawks
Detroit Lions announce roster moves, including Tracy Walker going on IR
Injury updates: Amon-Ra St. Brown, D’Andre Swift could miss some time
Lions vs. Seahawks 5Qs preview: Optimism is difficult to find in Seattle
Detroit Lions’ Amani Oruwariye: ‘I’m not going to change who I am’ after 6-penalty game

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.