As we inch closer to training camp—rookies report in less than two weeks (!)—we’re going to start taking a closer look at the Lions’ roster. We’ll compare it to last year, we’ll see where the weakness lie and we’ll highlight the biggest camp battles heading into the 2018 preseason.
But before we do all of that, we wanted to rank all 90 players on the Lions roster. In order to do this, we asked the seven following staff members to rank each and every one of the players on the Lions roster as of July 1. Here’s who participated:
- Jeremy Reisman
- Kent Lee Platte
- Justin Simon
- Ryan Mathews
- Andrew Kato
- Kyle Yost
- Alex Reno
After all seven of those staffers submitted their rankings, we averaged the results and re-ranked them based on those averages.
We’ll reveal our cumulative list 10 players at the time. Included in these posts are the highest ranking given to each players and their ranking from last year’s lists, if applicable.
Without further ado, here are players 90 through 81.
90. P Ryan Santoso (High: 81, Low: 90)
Rich Eisen says punters are people, too, but the jury is still out on backup punters. Ryan Santoso won’t make the team this year, and that was enough for two of our writers to give him the distinction of the 90th ranking.
89. DL JoJo Wicker (High: 80, Low: 90)
JoJo Wicker has a future in the Name Bracket, but the undrafted rookie out of Arizona State is an extreme long-shot to make the roster. Wicker only had 12.5 sacks as a Sun Devil.
88. OT Dan Skipper (High: 71, Low: 90)
Skipper earned 10 snaps as a rookie last year when the Lions were shorthanded against the Steelers. He did not make a good impression in that limited playing time. He was promptly released and put back on the practice squad. It’s clear expectations around these parts are low for his return.
87. CB Chris Jones (High: 76, Low: 86)
Another undrafted rookie, Jones is stuck extremely deep on the Lions’ depth chart. Jones doesn’t only have to overcome a deep orster, but he’s coming off a shortened season due to a knee injury (he played the final seven games of the season after starting the season rehabbing).
86. WR Chris Lacy (High: 72, Low: 86)
The UDFA out of Oklahoma State is one of the Lions’ most recent additions. Originally signed by the Patriots a couple weeks after the draft, Lacy was cut just a week into his time in New England. The Lions claimed him off waivers, but his best chance in 2018 is a spot on the practice squad.
85. DT Toby Johnson (High: 57, Low: 90)
Johnson is the lowest-rated veteran on this list, by far. At 26 years old, Johnson has already been on six different professional teams, but he has only made two career game appearances and two total sacks. Kent, who ranked him 57th, has higher expectations than the rest of the staff. No one else ranked Johnson above 77.
84. OL Beau Nunn (High: 67, Low: 88)
Another UDFA, this time out of Appalachian State, Nunn was a three-year starter in college. The Lions added a fair amount of offensive line depth, so Nunn’s only chance for a roster spot is through the practice squad.
83. S Stefan McClure (High: 73, Low: 86)
McClure is another young journeyman in the NFL. Since 2016, he’s jumped around four different franchises, including two stints with the Lions. McClure lasted a month on the Lions’ practice squad last season before getting cut then eventually signed to a future’s deal after a couple weeks with the Raiders’ practice squad.
82. WR Brandon Powell (High 74, Low: 86)
Brandon Powell is a rare Florida Gator the Lions didn’t draft. Instead, they waited until after this year’s draft and added him as a UDFA. Powell led the Gators with 42 catches last season which totals in 406 yards and three touchdowns.
81. OL John Montelus (High: 63, Low: 89)
Montelus spent three season at Notre Dame before transferring to Virginia and starting 10 games at in 2017. He, too, went undrafted and is facing long odds to make the team. However, Kent (63), Justin (69) and Ryan (72) all have some expectations from Montelus.