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Ranking all 89 players on the 2022 Detroit Lions roster: The bottom 10

A look at the player on the Detroit Lions roster who have the most work to do entering training camp.

NFL: AUG 04 Los Angeles Rams Training Camp Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Many are expecting the Detroit Lions to take a big step in Year 2 of the Dan Campbell era. One reason simply lies with the way the team finished the season. A 3-3 stretch at the end of a 3-13-1 season is the definition of finishing strong for a poor team. It’s undeniable that a lot of players had improved as the season went on, which was certainly a major goal for Year 1 of this regime.

But if the team is truly going to make a significant jump this year, their overall roster will have to be better. It’s easy to point to some additions as improvements to the roster, but a more interesting task is to rank the talent of the roster from 1-89 and match it with last year’s roster. This way, you’re not only evaluating the talent added at the top of the roster, but the domino effect it has on the rest of the roster. Depth is important, and sometimes the difference between a good and a great season.

Ranking the roster also allows us to see which players are in line for starting roles, who will be entering training camp on the roster bubble, and what positions the Lions are the strongest at.

So over the past couple of weeks, Pride of Detroit staffers have been submitting their full roster rankings from No. 89* to No. 1. The list below represents the average rankings of all seven staffers who participated: Jeremy Reisman, Erik Schlitt, Morgan Cannon, John Whiticar, Jerry Mallory, Ryan Mathews, and Hamza Baccouche.

Note: The Lions’ roster is still technically at 90 players long, but with John Penisni’s retirement essentially confirmed by the team—but not yet official—we did not include him in these rankings.

We start with the bottom nine players on the roster. These players are definite longshots to make the roster but never say never. Last year’s lowest ranked player—long snapper Scott Daly—won the job and made the roster, and several players ranked in the 70s also made unlikely runs at playing time.

That said, if this team is truly, significantly improved from last year, these players are going to have a tougher time beating the odds.

If you’re curious, you can see the previous years’ rankings here: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

89. TE Nolan Givan (Highest ranking: 82; Lowest ranking: 88)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Givan, like many of these lowest-tier players, is an undrafted rookie. Givan was... given just $10,000 guaranteed on his rookie contract, the second-lowest on the team. Givan moved around college from Ball State to San Diego State before finishing his college career with the best statistical year of his career at Southeastern Louisiana: 56 catches, 572 yards, and six touchdowns. With Detroit’s tenuous situation at tight end, he’ll have a chance to compete, but he’s got seven other tight ends to compete with.

88. CB Cedric Boswell (Highest: 81; Lowest: 89)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

An outside cornerback at Miami (Ohio), Boswell may make the transition to nickel at the next level. At 5-foot-11, 187 pounds, he’d likely struggle against bigger-bodied receivers. Nickel is also likely his best shot to make a splash on the roster, but again, he’ll have heavy competition with AJ Parker, Mike Hughes, Chase Lucas, and maybe even Ifeatu Melifonwu.

He’s certainly a long shot to make the roster, but last year Jerry Jacobs and AJ Parker made the roster despite being ranked 80 and 73, respectively.

87. WR Corey Sutton (Highest: 82; Lowest: 89)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Sutton’s path to the 53-man roster seems almost impossible after Detroit’s heavy investment at wide receiver this offseason, but the undrafted rookie out of Appalachian State showed enough to earn a reported $50,000 guaranteed. At 6-foot-3, Sutton is a deep ball weapon—one publication called him the “Most Dangerous Deep Threat in the Sun Belt,” and he pulled in 24 touchdowns over three seasons.

With some intriguing physical tools and solid college production, he could be a fun developmental project.

86. TE Derrick Deese Jr. (Highest: 78; Lowest: 88)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Deese likely got a few spots above Givan simply because he was given a fair amount of guaranteed money in his undrafted rookie contract ($100,000). He’s a fairly balanced tight end, capable of making plays through the air (730 receiving yards last year), and staying inline as a blocker (82.9 run blocking grade on 286 run blocking snaps).

He likely won’t get a ton of training camp reps, but if he can make the most out of them, he could be a sleeper.

85. WR Josh Johnson (Highest: 79; Lowest: 86)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

The Lions don’t really have an opening at slot receiver. Not only does Amon-Ra St. Brown have the top spot locked down, but reserve Kalif Raymond is well-liked by the coaching staff and is valuable on special teams. That puts Josh Johnson—at 5-11, 181—in extreme long shot territory. That said, he could certainly be utilized as a developmental option. He had a crazy productive 2021 season—totaling 1,114 receiving yards—but with a relatively average athletic profile, he’ll have to really develop into something special.

84. G Kevin Jarvis (Highest: 77; Lowest: 85)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

A Michigan State alum, Jarvis split his time at guard and tackle with the Spartans, starting a total of 39 games over five seasons. He earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors after his senior season, in which he earned a solid 71.4 PFF grade. Detroit will have an open competition for some reserve interior offensive line jobs, so if he can work his way up from the third-team offense, he could make an unlikely run at the roster. A total of $155,000 guaranteed in his contract certain indicates the Lions think he has potential.

83. G Zein Obeid (Highest: 74; Lowest: 86)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Obeid is in the same boat as Jarvis, but only has $30,000 guaranteed on his contract. The kid has an enthralling origin story, making his way to the states via a war-torn Lebanon. Obeid is a relative unknown, having been a starter for just two years for Ferris State. But considering he grew up in Dearborn—just miles away from the Lions training facility—his story could be a fascinating one. Are you paying attention, Hard Knocks?

82. DT Eric Banks (Highest: 79; Lowest: 85)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Banks is the lowest-ranked player on this list who is not an undrafted rookie. Banks originally went undrafted in 2020 but was courted by the Los Angeles Rams—when current Lions general manager Brad Holmes was the Rams’ director of college scouting. Banks remained a Ram until roster cuts last season, after which he was quickly claimed by the Los Angeles Chargers and even given his first game appearances—a total of 34 defensive snaps in the first three weeks of the season. He was waived shortly thereafter.

Holmes was the next to swoop in and reunite himself with Banks, this time in Detroit. He spent almost the entire month of October on Detroit’s 53-man roster but was a game-day inactive. He eventually was sent down to the team’s practice squad, where he remained for the rest of the season.

Banks has a long way to go to make the final roster, but he does have the advantage of being familiar with this coaching staff for nearly an entire season. And he must have made enough of an impression on the practice squad to earn a futures contract back in January.

81. EDGE Natrez Patrick (Highest: 71; Lowest: 88)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Patrick is another Rams-to-Lions pipeline via Brad Holmes. He spent two seasons in Los Angeles after going undrafted in 2019. After spending all of 2021 on injured reserve, the Lions got Patrick in for a tryout during rookie minicamp and earned his way onto the roster. He fits the mold of a hybrid off-ball linebacker/edge defender. That means he’ll have to fight for a roster spot with the likes of Jarrad Davis, James Houston, and Julian Okwara.

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