The Detroit Lions only were awarded one player off of the waiver wire following this week’s roster cuts around the NFL. Per the transaction wire, the Lions have been awarded former Dolphins defensive tackle Benito Jones.
Jones went undrafted out of Ole Miss in 2020. Though he didn’t make the initial 53-man roster that year, he did go on the practice squad and eventually made five game appearances in his rookie season. Last year, he spent the entire year on the Dolphins’ practice squad.
At 6-foot-1, 329 pounds, Jones fills Detroit’s need for more nose tackle candidates on their defense. Prior to Jones’ addition, the Lions only had a single defensive lineman who weighed more than 300 pounds (Alim McNeill). And with McNeill scheduled to play more three-tech going forward, Detroit needed a run-stuffing defender.
Coach Dan Campbell essentially telegraphed this move a couple weeks ago
“I do think that we may need a little bit more girth up front,” Campbell said. “I wouldn’t say that we’re not looking for that or won’t be.”
Our friends at Red Cup Rebellion wrote a great draft profile on Jones. Here’s a snippet:
Jones started all four years as a Rebel and has significant playing experience at his position. His big frame and lower body looks like that of an NFL nose tackle and provides built-in leverage for him to stay centered and get his hands under the pad level of a taller block. He gets off the ball with an incredibly quick first step for a 300-pound guy— he is able to win off the line, break down, and meet a back in the hole.
At this time, the Lions have not announced a corresponding move to fit Jones on the roster. However, one has to wonder if Isaiah Buggs—currently in that nose tackle role—may be in danger of being waived.
UPDATE: The Lions have waived RB Jermar Jefferson to make room.
Here’s a personal profile on the newest Lions defender: