Our ranking of the Detroit Lions roster continues today with players 70 through 61. These are the players that could make the 53-man roster, but are much more likely to be candidates for the practice squad, if they still have eligibility.
Before we get into this year’s list, catch up on the bottom 20 here:
70. CB Antwuan Davis (High: 59, Low: 79)
Anwuan Davis is part of the Lions’ 2018 undrafted free agent class, coming from the University of Texas. In college, he only started 10 total games, contributing mostly as a rotational defensive back and special teamer. He’s a pretty big longshot to make the roster, but special teams skills always gives lower-rung players an edge up.
69. OL Kenny Wiggins (High: 59, Low: 88)
Early in free agency, the Lions addressed their offensive line woes by adding veteran Kenny Wiggins. The reviews were not good. He ranked 70th of 77 qualifying guards by PFF’s standards, and here’s what our friends from Bolts From the Blue told us about Wiggins’ time with the Chargers:
“His athleticism is unexceptional. His technique is merely adequate.”
Wiggins’ ceiling is adequate depth. However, he could just as easily miss the roster entirely, hence Justin’s 88 ranking.
68. OL Adam Bisnowaty (High: 58, Low: 78)
Last year, Bisnowaty entered the season as the Giants’ sixth-round pick. He spent most of the year on the practice squad before being promoted to the starting right tackle position for the season finale.
But after this year’s draft, the Giants parted ways with Bisnowaty and the Lions scooped him up just before minicamp started. Bisnowaty is a solid practice squad candidate given his youth, but his roster chances are low.
67. TE Hakeem Valles (High: 54, Low: 83)
Valles is a player to watch at training camp, considering how poor the Lions’ depth is at tight end. Though he sits firmly behind Luke Willson, Michael Roberts and Levine Toilolo, a single injury could push the 25-year-old tight end not only into a roster spot, but potentially a playing role. After all, the Lions believe the more tight ends on the field the better.
66. CB Mike Ford (High: 52, Low: 79)
The first of two Southeast Missouri State undrafted rookies on the team, Ford is an athletic beast, earning an RAS of 9.60.
The Lions are set at cornerback, but if Ford’s training camp performance matches his athletic scores, he’ll be an easy practice squad addition, especially considering the money they have already handed Ford.
65. C/G Wesley Johnson (High: 53, Low: 90)
Much like the addition of Kenny Wiggins, expectations are very low for Johnson based on his previous performance. Johnson was the lowest graded PFF center in 2017 and allowed 23 pressures in just 518 snaps last year.
Johnson is one of the few players on the Lions offensive line depth that has serious experience, which explains why some of us ranked him on the roster bubble. But it’s clear his horrible performance last year influenced Kent’s ranking (dead last).
64. S Rolan Milligan (HIgh: 61, Low: 71)
Last year: 81
Last year, our staff had Rolan Milligan as one of the worst players on the Lions roster. Milligan responded by making the team’s practice squad and even got promoted to the active roster for Week 13. Though he was a gameday inactive, the Lions clearly like what Milligan has, keeping him on the practice squad for the remainder of the 2017 season and inking him to a futures deal for 2018.
63. LB Chad Meredith (High: 47, Low: 83)
The other half of the Southeast Missouri State undrafted rookie class, Meredith has a lot of buzz coming out of minicamp. The Lions’ linebacker depth is thin and Meredith made a pretty big impression with the local media back in May. If Meredith doesn’t make the final 53-man roster, he’s almost certainly a practice squad lock (assuming he can clear waivers).
62. LB Jonathan Freeny (High: 49, Low: 80)
While Meredith brings the youth and potential to Detroit’s linebacking corps, Jonathan Freeny brings the wisdom and experience. Already well-versed in Matt Patricia’s defensive style from his three years with the Patriots, Freeny has an inside track to make the roster. However, he was also cut by three different teams last season, and has only started 11 games in his career.
Freeny brings value as a mentor, but whether that will be enough to earn him a roster spot will be decided in August.
61. DT Christian Ringo (High: 52, Low: 80)
Christian Ringo’s play was good enough to earn him some serious playing time down the stretch last season. He played at least 19 snaps in each of the Lions’ final six games. Of course by then the Lions’ defensive line depth had imploded, and Detroit was scrambling for anyone who could play.
Ringo will have a more difficult time climbing up the depth chart this year, but Detroit and Patricia showed some faith in him by re-signing him back March, even if it was to his exclusive-right free agent deal.