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Detroit Lions depth chart: Pre-2022 NFL draft edition

A closer look at how the Lions roster stacks up ahead of the 2022 NFL draft.

Baltimore Ravens v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The 2022 NFL Draft is only hours away and for those looking for a refresher on where the Detroit Lions roster sits, here’s a quick breakdown of the team’s depth chart before the main event.

Quarterback (4)

Starter: Jared Goff
Top reserve: Tim Boyle
Depth: David Blough, Steven Montez

With four quarterbacks, including a clear starter, on the roster, the Lions won’t be pressed to add a signal-caller in this draft. That being said, they could be on the lookout for an upgrade at any and all spots.

Running back (5)

Starter: D’Andre Swift
Top reserve: Jamaal Williams
Depth: Craig Reynolds, Jamaal Jefferson, Godwin Igwebuike

One of the most complete position groups on the roster, the Lions can roll into the season with this group of five and little worry. Although, with the turnover at the position across the NFL, adding talent is always an option.

Wide receiver (8)

Starters: Amon-Ra St. Brown, DJ Chark, Josh Reynolds
Top reserves: Kalif Raymond, Quintez Cephus
Depth: Trinity Benson, Tom Kennedy, Javon McKinley

The Lions should feel comfortable with their top five, with hopes that the depth will develop into a role, but adding wide receiver talent is a long-term need and something they could address in the top-100 picks.

Tight end/Superback (7)

Starters: T.J. Hockenson, Jason Cabinda
Top reserves: Brock Wright, Garrett Griffin
Depth: Shane Zylstra, Jared Pinkney, Matt Sokol

Lots of options amongst the tight ends, but adding a player who could compete for a TE2 role is a bigger need than most acknowledge. Don’t be surprised if the Lions address this need earlier than expected.

Offensive line (11)

Starters: Taylor Decker (LT), Jonah Jackson (LG), Frank Ragnow (C), Halapoulivaati Vaitai (RG), Penei Sewell (RT)
Top reserves: Evan Brown (IOL), Matt Nelson (OT/G)
Depth: Dan Skipper (OT), Tommy Kraemer (IOL), Logan Stenberg (G), Ryan McCollum (C)

The Lions not only return all five of their starting linemen, but they also retained their top six reserves from last season as well. Adding a developmental reserve could be in the cards for this draft—it’s never a bad plan, considering how long it takes to develop offensive linemen in the NFL— but with all five starters signed through at least 2023 as well, it’s not a priority.

Interior defensive line (6)

Starters: Michael Brockers, Alim McNeill
Top reserves: Levi Onwuzurike, John Penisini
Depth: Jashon Cornell, Bruce Hector

After trading for Brockers and investing two Day 2 picks in this group last offseason, adding depth may not seems like a priority. But Brockers is over 30 years old and on a big contract, making this an underrated need that could be addressed again. If the right player is there, the Lions could look to further solidify the trenches with a key draft pick.

EDGE (7)

Starters: Romeo Okwara, Charles Harris
Top reserves: Julian Okwara, Austin Bryant
Depth: Jessie Lemonier, Rashod Berry, Eric Banks

The Lions have solid talent on the edge but lack a superstar, and with the No. 2 overall pick offering them the chance to secure a game-changer, this group could get an instant upgrade very early on Day 1.

Linebacker (8)

Starters: Alex Anzalone, Derrick Barnes
Top reserve: Chris Board
Depth: Jarrad Davis, Josh Woods, Shaun Dion Hamilton, Anthony Pittman, Tavante Beckett

The Lions swapped out Jalen Reeves-Maybin for Board, and Jamie Collins for Davis, but it’s easy to argue that this group—which already had some concerns—took a step back this offseason. Adding a starter-level player in the top-100 picks seems like a logical plan.

Corner (8)

Starters: Amani Oruwariye, Jeff Okudah
Top reserves: Ifeatu Melifonwu, Jerry Jacobs
Depth: Mark Gilbert, Bobby Price, Saivion Smith, Parnell Motley

With health questions among the top four players—Okudah (Achilles) and Jacobs (ACL)—the Lions could add talent to offer some security. The Lions were able to get players in last week for voluntary workouts and medical checkups, so they’ll have a good idea of where everyone is in their recovery process, but if there are concerns, this position could be addressed early.

Nickel/Dime (3)

Starters: Will Harris (S/CB), AJ Parker (CB)
Top reserve: Mike Hughes (CB)

With starting nickel Parker returning, the emergence of Harris in the slot, and the addition of Hughes, the Lions may not feel pressed to add a pure sub-package player. But it’s worth keeping in mind that upgrading the secondary should always be at the forefront of every NFL team's minds.

Safety (6)

Starters: Tracy Walker, DeShon Elliott
Top reserves: C.J. Moore, Jalen Elliott
Depth: JuJu Hughes, Brady Breeze

The Lions got a big piece to the safety puzzle when they inked DeShon Elliott to a one-year contract, but adding upgrades and/or a long-term player should be a high priority. Fortunately, this draft offers plenty of options that would fit those requirements and this could be a spot the Lions address in the top-100 picks.

Special teams (5)

Starters: Jack Fox (P), Riley Patterson (K), Scott Daly (LS)
Top reserves: Austin Seibert (K), Aldrick Rosas (K)

Fox and Daly are solidified in their roles, and while Patterson is listed as the starting kicker (because he ended the season as such), Seibert was impressive before his injury and Rosas was solid in his lone start as well, making the kicking battle one to watch in camp. With a loaded group, it’d be shocking to see any position in the group be addressed beyond a possible UDFA.

At a glance look at the Lions' pre-draft roster