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Ranking the Detroit Lions 2020 roster: 80-71

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A look at some of Detroit’s longshots to make the 53-man roster.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions roster went through some serious turnover both during the 2019 season and after it. Our ranking of the Lions’ 90-man roster has reached the players in the 70s, and while there are a lot of familiar names in this group, almost none of them were on the roster to open up training camp last year.

These are guys that were brought in either as sneak waiver claims or desperate injury insurance. Some may have made a good enough impression to have a serious chance at the 53-man roster this year, but most will be entering training camp as longshots.

Here are the players we ranked as No. 80 through 71 in our 2020 Detroit Lions roster rankings.

Reminder about our methodology: Five Pride of Detroit writers ranked the roster from 1 to 90. Those rankings were then averaged to create a master list.

Previously:

80. WR Victor Bolden Jr. (Highest ranking: 70, Lowest ranking: 87)

Last year: N/A

Bolden was added to the practice squad late last season and earned himself a futures deal for 2020. His main asset is his speed—something the Lions have added a lot of this offseason. In three years, Bolden hasn’t been able to translate that into offensive production (one career catch), but he has had some modest success in the kick return game.

79. DT Frank Herron (High: 68, Low: 88)

Last year: N/A

Herron had a couple of brief stints with the Lions last year. Most notably, Herron had a three-week stay on the Lions 53-man roster to end the 2019 season, earning 30 or more defensive snaps in each of the final three games.

He didn’t make that much of an impact, essentially replacing A’Shawn Robinson’s role. However, with that exact experience and Robinson now playing in Los Angeles, he could be a longshot to make the roster in 2020.

78. LB Jason Cabinda (High: 69, Low: 89)

Last year: N/A

Added after Cabinda was one of the final cuts from the Raiders in 2019, Cabinda spent the first three months of the season the practice squad. After his promotion, he spent his time almost exclusively on special teams, though, despite starting a few games for Oakland back in 2018.

It’s tough to see him making Detroit’s 53-man roster this year, given the addition of Jamie Collins Sr.

77. RB Wes Hills (High: 56, Low: 90)

Last year: N/A

Wes Hills was part of Detroit’s merry-go-round of running backs jumping on and off the roster. He actually got one opportunity to start in 2019, and turned it into a couple of touchdowns. However, his 10 rushes for 21 yards wasn’t exactly the kind of production you’re hoping for.

With the drafting of D’Andre Swift and Jason Huntley, Hills doesn’t have a realistic shot at the 53-man roster, but he could make the practice squad.

76. C Russell Bodine (High 61, Low: 81)

Last year: N/A

I was a little surprised to see Bodine this low on the list—I had him 61st. The former Bengals and Bills center has started 74 games since entering the league in 2014.

Granted, Bodine spent almost all of 2019 unemployed after failing to make the Patriots’ roster, Bodine comes to Detroit in stiff competition with Beau Benzschawel as the team’s backup center. If Benzschawel’s transition from guard doesn’t go as planned, I could definitely see Bodine making the team.

75. G Caleb Benenoch (High: 73, Low: 76)

Last year: N/A

While Benenoch is definitely on the outside looking in for Detroit’s 53-man roster, he brings something that Detroit values: versatility. Since entering the league in 2016 as a fifth-round pick, Benenoch has played some left guard, right tackle and right guard. The Lions have him listed as a guard, which may make his route to the final tougher, given Detroit drafted both Jonah Jackson and Logan Stenberg this year. Still, his experience at tackle does give him an edge up on some other interior offensive line depth.

74. P Jack Fox (High: 70, Low: 81)

Last year: N/A

With Sam Martin gone, the Lions’ punting job is wide open for the first time since 2012. Fox joined the team’s practice squad late last year as an undrafted rookie who spent time with the Chiefs in training camp.

Fox has a big leg—averaging 44.1 yards per punt in the preseason and 45.5 in his final year at Rice. He’s also capable of taking over kickoffs, which is something the Lions would prefer, given that Matt Prater typically saves his leg for field goals and extra points at this point in his career.

73. P Arryn Siposs (High: 68, Low: 80)

Last year: N/A

The other option at punter is Aussie Football’s Arryn Siposs. Though he’ll technically be a rookie this year, Siposs was drafted by the Australian Football League back in 2010. But after things didn’t work out, he came to America to punt for Auburn in college. There he averaged 44.0 yards per punt over two seasons.

Siposs doesn’t quite have the leg of Fox but he does have a little more directional control than him. We’ll see which the Lions prefer next month.

72. WR Tom Kennedy (High: 63, Low: 77)

Last year: 74

The only player on this list of 10 that started and finished the season on the Lions’ roster, Kennedy spent most of the season on the practice squad. Kennedy was active for one week—Week 4 against the Chiefs—but he did not register any statistics in eight offensive snaps and seven on special teams.

Kennedy will contend for a slot receiver role on the team, but with so many players that bring more speed and agility—including Jamal Agnew, Marvin Hall and Victor Bolden—it’s hard to see Kennedy making the squad.

71. G Joshua Garnett (High: 63, Low: 75)

Last year: N/A

As a former first-round pick, there is still some remaining hope that Garnett can revive his NFL career. However, Garnett spent the 2019 regular season unemployed after the 49ers finally gave up on him following three disappointing seasons.

He’ll be right in the thick of the guard depth competition, but there’s a feeling that his NFL career may have already busted. In Detroit, he’ll have a lot of young competition, and that makes his path to the 53 difficult to envision.