2022 Detroit Lions updated depth chart: Pre-season Game 1 vs Falcons

Pride of Detroit

On Tuesday, the Detroit Lions released their first unofficial depth chart for the 2022 season. But, we at Pride of Detroit aren’t the types of people to let others do our work for us, so we have created our own team depth chart based on the first-hand training camp observations of Jeremy Reisman and Erik Schlitt.

While it’s exciting to have football back on television, coach Dan Campbell told the media earlier this week that the Lions are only planning to play their starters during this game’s first quarter. They also have a few injured players, as well as some veterans who have gotten regular rest. So altogether that means, for the majority of the game, it’ll be important to know the players on the rest of the roster and where they’ve been slotted in over the past three weeks of camp.

To help out your viewing experience, we have listed each player’s number next to their name, bolded the projected starters, italicized the injured players with an estimated 50% or less chance to play, and added an asterisk* after the rookies’ names.

Quarterback (3)

  • Jared Goff (16)
  • Tim Boyle (12) or David Blough (10) — rotating

The Lions have been rotating their quarterbacks every day throughout camp, regardless of the situation. At the Lions’ last practice Boyle was taking second-team reps, which would mean it’s Blough’s turn in the rotation if they maintain their pattern. However, Blough was the second-team quarterback during the Lions scrimmage last Saturday, so it’s possible they want to give Boyle the next set of second-team reps in a competitive environment.

Running back (6 + 1 injured)

  • D’Andre Swift (32) — getting regular veteran rest as part of health management
  • Jamaal Williams (30) — Co-starter
  • Craig Reynolds (46)
  • Jermar Jefferson (28)
  • Godwin Igwebuike (35)
  • Justin Jackson (42)
  • Jason Cabinda (45), FB — PUP list

The first three spots are locked in, but beyond that, the order could get shaken up.

Wide receiver (7 + 4)

  • DJ Chark (4)
  • Josh Reynolds (8)
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown (14)
  • Kalif Raymond (11)
  • Quintez Cephus (87) — injured, optimistic he won’t miss much time
  • Trinity Benson (17) — injured, missed practice on Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Tom Kennedy (85)
  • Maurice Alexander (15)
  • Kalil Pimpleton* (83)
  • Josh Johnson* (80) — injured, missed practice on Monday and Wednesday
  • Jameson Williams* (9) — NFI list, expected to remain out through at least Week 1

Cephus will certainly miss this game, and with two missed practices for Benson and Johnson, they could also be in jeopardy to miss time. If all miss, the Lions will lean on the remaining four non-starters to carry the load the majority of the game—though it’s reasonable to expect Raymond to bow out ahead of the other three.

Tight end (8)

  • T.J. Hockenson (88) — has gotten a few veteran rest days
  • Brock Wright (89)
  • Garrett Griffin (86) — will see time at H-back with Cabinda still on PUP
  • Shane Zylstra (84)
  • James Mitchell* (82)
  • Devin Funchess (13)
  • Derrick Deese Jr.* (48)
  • Nolan Givan* (43)

In addition to a few veteran rest days, Hockenson was seen limping late in practice on Wednesday, and while he did not require assistance from a trainer, it’s entirely possible that the Lions could hold him out as a precaution.

Expected starting offensive line (15)

First Team

  • LT — Taylor Decker (68) — getting regular veteran as he recovers from a foot injury
  • LG — Jonah Jackson (73)
  • C — Frank Ragnow (77) — got a veteran rest day last Wednesday
  • RG — Halapoulivaati Vaitai (72)
  • RT — Penei Sewell (58) — If Decker rests, Sewell will shift to left tackle

Second Team

  • LT — Dan Skipper (70) — back with the second team after re-acclimation from illness
  • LG — Logan Stenberg (71) — has rotated sides with Kraemer during camp
  • C — Evan Brown (63)
  • RG — Tommy Kraemer (78) — Kraemer has seen reps at all three spots on the interior
  • RT — Matt Nelson (67) — If Decker rests, Nelson will be promoted to first-team RT

Third Team

  • LT — Kendall Lamm (76) — signed on Monday
  • LG — Darrin Paulo (66) — tackle/guard flexible in camp
  • C — Ryan McCollum (74)
  • RG — Kevin Jarvis* (75) — tackle/guard flexible in camp
  • RT — Obinna Eze* (65) — If Decker rests, look for Eze to play on both second and third lines

The Lions have done a lot of rotating with their second and third offensive lines as they dealt with minor injuries and cross-trained positions. The above lineup represents the position each player was most frequently repping at.

Interior defensive line (6 + 1)

  • DL — Michael Brockers (91)
  • NT — Alim McNeill (54)
  • DL — Levi Onwuzurike (75) — injured, missed practice all week, four practices the week prior
  • DL — Jashon Cornell (96)
  • NT — Isaiah Buggs (98)
  • DL — Bruce Hector (92)
  • DL — Demetrius Taylor* (62)

Once Buggs’ night is over, look for the Lions to shift to more dual 3T looks, with Taylor occasionally taking reps at the nose when they need that spot filled.

EDGE Rushers (6 + 3)

  • Big DE — Aidan Hutchinson* (97)
  • Rush DE — Charles Harris (53)
  • SAM — Julian Okwara (99) — Injured, missed all this week, two practices the week prior
  • Big DE — Austin Bryant (2)
  • Big DE — John Cominsky (79)
  • SAM — James Houston* (59)
  • Big DE — Eric Banks (94)
  • Rush DE — Romeo Okwara (95) — PUP list
  • Big DE — Josh Paschal* (93) — PUP list

Some have asked for further explanation on the positional designations:

Big DE = Base defensive end, 3T in subpackages
Rush DE = Base defensive end, situationally in SAM
SAM = Stand-up pass rusher, defensive end in subpackages

Off-the-ball linebacker (8)

  • Alex Anzalone (34)
  • Chris Board (49) or Derrick Barnes (55)
  • Malcolm Rodriguez* (44)
  • Anthony Pittman (57)
  • Shaun Dion Hamilton (50)
  • Jarrad Davis (40)
  • Josh Woods (51)

Outside of Anzalone, who is taking almost all his reps at the MIKE, the remaining players have seen time at both the MIKE and WILL. When the Lions have shifted to a single linebacker in subpackages, Board, Rodriguez, and Pittman have seen reps in this role.

Cornerback (8 + 1)

  • Amani Oruwariye (24)
  • Jeff Okudah (1) or Will Harris (25)
  • Mike Hughes (23)
  • Bobby Price (27)
  • Mark Gilbert (29)
  • Saivion Smith (19)
  • Cedric Boswell* (35)
  • Jerry Jacobs (39) — PUP list

Okudah and Harris have been rotating starter reps all camp, but it’s worth noting that coaches rested Okudah during the scrimmage and may consider doing the same during this competitive environment. That being said, Campbell said on Monday that they’re not worried about Okudah’s Achilles recovery and he needed to stack reps, so he could see snaps in this game.

Hughes has been repping both outside and at nickel, but if Okudah rests, he will likely be needed on the outside.

Nickelback (2)

  • AJ Parker (41)
  • Chase Lucas* (36)

If Hughes does push inside, he will likely rep ahead of Lucas, though the rookie has been with the second team quite a bit recently.

Safety (7)

  • Tracy Walker (21)
  • DeShon Elliott (5)
  • Ifeatu Melifonwu (26) — injured, missed practice all this week
  • Kerby Joseph* (31)
  • C.J. Moore (38)
  • JuJu Hughes (33)
  • Brady Breeze (15)

After the starting duo, the four healthy reserves have rotated between the second and third teams. So, even though Joseph is high on the depth chart, he very likely could rep with the threes in his first NFL action.

Kicking team (4)

  • P — Jack Fox (3)
  • LS — Scott Daly (47)
  • K — Austin Seibert (19) or Riley Patterson (6)

Campbell said that both kickers would be on “high alert at all times” meaning they both need to be ready to step in and kick at a moment’s notice. Expect both to see action on field goals, extra points, and kickoffs.

Kick/Punt returners

  • Punt return — Kalif Raymond (11)
  • PR reserve: Kalil Pimpleton (83), Maurice Alexander (15), Amon-Ra St. Brown (14)
  • Kick return — Godwin Igwebuike (35)
  • KR reserve — Trinity Benson (17), Josh Johnson (80), D’Andre Swift (32)

With Benson and Johnson injured, Swift saw some reps as a kick returner this week, but like St. Brown, it’s likely for emergency purposes only. Don’t be surprised if Alexander and Pimpleton also get some reps at kick returner as well, like they did at Wednesday’s practice.

Kick coverage specialists

  • Kickoffs — Austin Seibert (19) or Riley Patterson (6)
  • Holder — Jack Fox (3)
  • Gunner — Bobby Price (27), Ifeatu Melifonwu (26), Trinity Benson (17), AJ Parker (41)
  • Personal protector (PP) — C.J. Moore (38), Tracy Walker (21)

With Melifonwu and Benson injured, Parker was moved up to the starting gunner spot this week. Look for the Lions to give some other a shot as gunners in this game, with Mike Hughes and Chase Lucas likely candidates.

At-a-glance projected depth chart

If you’re more of a visual learner, here’s an at-a-glance look at what was discussed above:

Roster numbers cheat sheet

This cheat sheet is separated by position and listed in numerical order, save the offensive line, which is grouped by unit. Erik uses this style of roster sheet for tracking players during camp:

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