Detroit Lions 53-Man Roster Grades Ft. Jared Goff, D’Andre Swift, Jameson Williams & Jeffrey Okudah

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The Lions’ roster is down to 53 and it is time to grade how well GM Brad Holmes and HC Dan Campbell formed their roster for the 2022 season. Each positional group will have a grade and a reason why the grave was given.
Quarterbacks
Starter: Jared Goff
Backup: Nate Sudfeld
Jared Goff is a solid NFL quarterback and brings stability to the Lions’ offense. He has been amazing in training camp with his precise throws and high confidence level. The issue for the team is the backup QB in Nate Sudfeld who was just signed this week. He is near the bottom of talent level QB2.
Grade: Grade: B-
Running Backs
Starter: D’Andre Swift
Backup: Jamaal Williams
Backup: Craig Reynolds
Practice Squad: Justin Jackson
Practice Squad: Jermar Jefferson
Injured to return: Jason Cabinda
The Lions’ have great depth at the running back position. D’Andre Swift has all the tools to be a three-down back. Can he stay healthy this season? That is a question. Jamaal Williams is a good bruising back who can get those crucial short yards. Craig Reynolds is not elite at any part of his game but good in all aspects of the running back position. Jermar Jefferson has regressed from last year and Justin Jackson has high-end speed.
Grade: B+
Tight Ends
Starter: T.J. Hockenson
Backup: Brock Wright
Backup: Shane Zylstra
Backup: James Mitchell
Practice Squad: Garrett Griffin
Practice Squad: Derrick Deese
T.J. Hockenson has top tight-end talent in the NFL but has issues staying healthy. Brock Wright is a middle-of-the-road TE2 and James Mitchell is coming back from injury.
Grade: B-
Wide Receivers
Starter: DJ Chark
Starter: Amon-Ra St. Brown
Starter: Josh Reynolds
Backup: Kalif Raymond
Backup: Quintez Cephus
Practice Squad: Tom Kennedy
Practice Squad: Maurice Alexander
Depth at wide receiver is near the top of the league. DJ Chark has big play capability. Amon-Ra St. Brown is rising to be one of the most underrated players in the game. Josh Reynolds, Kalif Raymond, and Quintez Cephus are solid.
Grade: A
Offensive Line
Starter: Taylor Decker
Starter: Jonah Jackson
Starter: Frank Ragnow
Starter: Halapoulivaati Vaitai
Starter: Penei Sewell
Backup: Matt Nelson
Backup: Evan Brown
Backup: Tommy Kraemer
Backup: Logan Stenberg
Practice Squad: Dan Skipper
Practice Squad: Obina Eze
Arguably the best starting offensive line in football, the Lions have top 15 talent at left tackle with Taylor Decker, top 5 right tackle in Penei Sewell, top 2 centers in Frank Ragnow, and pro bowl caliber guards in Jonah Jackson and Halapoulivaati Vaitai. The lions’ backups are solid as well.
Grade: A+
Defensive Line
Starter: Aidan Hutchinson
Starter: Michael Brockers
Starter: Alim McNeill
Starter: Charles Harris
Backup: Levi Onwuzurike
Backup: Isaiah Buggs
Backup: Demetrius Taylor
Backup: Benito Jones
Backup: Julian Okwara
Backup: Austin Bryant
Backup: John Cominsky
Practice Squad: James Houston
Practice Squad: Bruce Hector
Injured to return: Romeo Okwara
Injured to return: Joshua Paschal
The defensive line has big promise with rookie Aidan Hutchinson leading the way. Charles Harris was a value pickup in 2021 and has continued to show flash in this year’s preseason. Alim McNeill has versatility and Michael Brockers is a veteran with high leadership qualities. The lions have a great backup edge rusher in Austin Bryant but after that, issues start to emerge. Can Julian Okwara, Joshua Paschal, and Levi Onwuzurike stay healthy? Injuries plague the young corp.
Grade: C+
Linebacker
Starter: Alex Anzalone
Starter: Malcolm Rodriguez
Starter: Derrick Barnes
Backup: Chris Board
Backup: Josh Woods
Practice Squad: Jarrad Davis
Practice Squad: Anthony Pittman
This group needs some work. Alex Anzalone will start for the Lions alongside riser Malcolm Rodriguez. Derrick Barnes has shown flashes but may not be ready to be an immediate impact player. The depth at the linebacker is poor.
Grade: D
Cornerback
Starter: Amani Oruwariye
Starter: Jeffrey Okudah
Starter: Mike Hughes
Backup: Will Harris
Backup: Bobby Price
Backup: Chase Lucas
Practice Squad: AJ Parker
Practice Squad: Saivian Smith

Grade: C+

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