As we near training camp, it’s time to start looking at the Detroit Lions’
90-man 89-man roster. It’s a good way to both evaluate this team compared to years past, and to familiarize ourselves with some of the lesser-known names who could surprise over the next month of practices.
To do this, I sought help from my trusted staff. Seven of us combined to rank all 89 members of the Detroit Lions roster so that we can count down the best players from 89 to 1. Here are the staff members who participated in the 2019 Detroit Lions Roster Rankings:
- Jeremy Reisman
- Kent Lee Platte
- Mansur Shaheen
- Andrew Kato
- Alex Reno
- Kyle Yost
- John Whiticar
After everyone submitted their rankings of each player, we averaged them out and created master list of rankings. For the next couple weeks, we’ll reveal our rankings 10 players at a time.
So without further ado, here are players 89-81.
89. DE Jonathan Wynn (High: 79, Low: 88)
There may not be a player on the Lions roster you’ve heard about less than Jonathan Wynn. Signed to a future contract back on December 31, Wynn comes from the Vikings as a undrafted rookie in 2018 out of Vanderbilt. He spent most of the season on Minnesota’s practice squad and has not seen the field at the NFL level. He did record 1.5 sacks in three preseason games, though.
88. OT Matt Nelson (High: 73, Low: 88)
An undrafted rookie out of Iowa, Nelson finds himself deep in the Lions’ offensive line rotation. Nelson actually played on defense at Iowa, so his transition to offensive tackle will likely take years not months. That being said, he has the perfect frame of an NFL offensive tackle.
87. LB Anthony Pittman (High: 75, Low: 89)
Another UDFA, Pittman comes with at least a little hope and fanfare given his local ties to Wayne State University. He made a few standout plays during OTAs and minicamp, and given Detroit’s thin depth at linebacker, there’s a chance he could stick around on the practice squad this year.
86. RB Mark Thompson (High: 73, Low: 88)
At 6-foot-1, 235 pounds, Thompson is the Lions’ thunder depth behind C.J. Anderson. Last year, he rushed for 146 yards on 31 carries in the preseason for the Ravens, earning him a futures contract with the Lions this year.
85. G Micah St. Andrew (High: 72, Low: 89)
Another UDFA out of Fresno State, Andrew is one of the biggest players on the team, measuring in at 6-foot-3, 348 pounds. Though Detroit needs depth on the interior offensive line, Andrew is considered a long shot to make the roster or even the practice squad.
84. LB Garret Dooley (High: 72, Low: 84)
Another former Viking turned Lion, Dooley is entering his second year after going undrafted out of Wisconsin. He didn’t make the Vikings’ original 53-man roster, then spent a month on the practice squad.
However, the Vikings waived him shortly thereafter, and he spent the rest of the season on the Lions’ practice squad. Detroit must see something they like, because he’s been on their roster ever since.
83. LB Tre Lamar (High: 70, Low: 87)
Another UDFA, this time out of Clemson, Lamar was one of the top recruits coming out of high school—winning Georgia’s PLayer of the Year award his senior year. He’s got the size the Lions look for in a linebacker—6-foot-3, 253 pounds—and he had plenty of production at Clemson (79 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 3.0 sacks his final year), but there are questions about his speed and technique at the next level.
Tre Lamar went undrafted in the 2019 draft class.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) May 12, 2019
He posted a Poor #RAS with Elite size, V.Poor speed, Good explosiveness, V.Poor agility at the LB position.
He will be fighting for a spot on the #Lions roster as a reserve ILB in 2019. pic.twitter.com/p6vUoxrjS4
82. WR Brandon Reilly (High: 74, Low: 88)
For a player that has only been in the league two years, Reilly has already been a bit of a journeyman. Originally with the Bills as a UDFA out of Penn State, Reilly was only active for few games his rookie season (he never saw the field, though). Since then, he’s bounced on and off the practice squads of the Lions and Cowboys.
This year alone, he’s already been signed, waived and re-signed by the Lions.
81. TE Jerome Cunningham (High: 72, Low: 84)
Cunningham is entering training camp firmly at the bottom of Detroit’s tight end depth chart. That being said, there’s certainly a chance he sneaks his way onto the practice squad or even the 53-man roster.
He actually has NFL experience—playing in 12 games (three with the Lions) and recording eight catches for 59 yards. The Lions clearly like him enough to bring him back this year, and he won’t be nearly as raw as seventh-round rookie Isaac Nauta.
If the Lions keep four tight ends on their roster, Cunningham has a good chance of making it, so I think this ranking is a bit unfair to him (I had him 72).