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Ranking every player on the Detroit Lions’ 2023 roster: 70-61, the roster bubble

Our ranking of the Detroit Lions roster continues with a group of player who have a legitimate shot at the 53-man roster.

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

We’ve reached the 60s when it comes to our countdown of the entire Detroit Lions 2023 roster. Typically, this range is where you’ll continue to find relative long-shots to make the 53-man roster. However, it’s different for the Lions this year. Many—if not, all—of these players have a legitimate shot at making the roster, showcasing just how deep the roster is this year for those final five or six roster spots.

Here’s a look at the players we ranked 70 through 61 on the Lions roster.

Reminder: This list is based on the average of eight different Pride of Detroit staff members’ individual lists.


70. G Logan Stenberg (High: 63; Low: 74)

Last year’s ranking: 59

Stenberg’s significant fall is pretty easily explained. Always considered amongst fans as a strong developmental piece, we finally got to see what that looks like on the field in 2022. The answer: still a work in progress. In his first four career starts, Stenberg earned a 15.0 (yes, you read that right) PFF pass blocking grade. How bad was it? Stenberg allowed 12 pressures in just four games. Frank Ragnow allowed 13 pressures in 17 games.

Now Stenberg will be fighting for a roster spot in the final year of his rookie contract.

69. OT Obinna Eze (High: 63; Low: 74)

Last year’s ranking: 78

Eze is on the opposite trajectory, but this is more based on faith than fact. Eze is entering Year 2 of his NFL career, but we don’t really know yet where he is in his developmental curve. Still relatively new to the game of football, there is hope he could become a potential swing tackle in this league, but there is little proof of that yet.

68. G Kayode Awosika (High: 63; Low: 69)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

A mid-season addition when injuries hit the Lions offensive line hard, Awosika started two games for Detroit late in the season when Detroit got desperate and players like Stenberg weren’t cutting it. Awosika held his own, but the Lions are likely hoping they won’t have to resort to pushing him into the starting lineup again this year.

67. RB Mohamed Ibrahim (High: 56; Low: 68)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Ibrahim was one of the bigger UFDA signings the Lions made this year. With the RB3 training camp competition wide open, Ibrahim not only has a real shot to make the roster this year, but he could actually contribute on offense in 2023.

Ibrahim will go down as one of the most productive backs in Minnesota Gophers history, setting program records for rushing yards in a season (1,665) and rushing touchdowns (20). That’s an even more phenomenal accomplishment when you consider he did it a year after suffering a torn Achilles.

66. C Ross Pierschbacher (High: 58; Low: 69)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Pierschbacher is the fourth offensive lineman in this range of the countdown, which speaks to some questionable depth on the front. That said, Pierschbacher is a veteran that can play any interior offensive line position, which gives him a real shot at a spot on the roster—in particular, as a backup center. That said, he’s now in Year 5 of his NFL career and doesn’t have a start to his name yet.

65. DT Benito Jones (High: 55; Low: 67)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Detroit’s defensive tackle room isn’t exactly deep, but Jones’ roster spots is certainly in jeopardy this year after making an appearance in all 17 games last season. Detroit wants to diminish Isaiah Buggs’ playing time in order to keep him fresh, but they were unwilling to do that much last year with Jones—which tells you a lot about what they think of him.

The additions of third-round pick Brodric Martin and free agent addition Christian Covington will make Jones’ path to the roster much tougher this year.

64. K Riley Patterson (High: 48; Low: 72)

Last year’s ranking: 48

Note: You may notice a wide disparity in rankings for Patterson. That will be a theme in this year’s lists, because let’s just say that there are a few POD staffers who have very differing opinions on the value of special teamers.

Last year, Patterson entered training camp as the incumbent kicker and most likely to win the training camp battle against Austin Seibert. And while he decisively lost that battle, he ended up getting swooped up by the Jacksonville Jaguars and having a perfectly good season.

Now Patterson is back via an odd-looking trade, but he’ll have to fight off two competitors this year in Parker Romo and Michael Badgley. Patterson doesn’t have the strength of Romo, and Badgley is now the returning champion, so Patterson is going to have his hands (feet?) full again this year.

63. WR Maurice Alexander (High: 59; Low: 66)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Alexander’s best chance to win out a spot as the team’s WR5 or WR6 is his ability on special teams. Detroit’s kick returner battle is wide open after last year’s specialist (Justin Jackson) was not retained in free agency. Alexander has yet to really shine as a receiver in the past, but he’ll have to show something, because his physical build (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) is pretty standard with this group of Lions wideouts.

62. K Michael Badgley (High: 43; Low: 71)

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Somewhat surprisingly, Badgley is not the highest-ranked kicker amongst our staff. I guess everyone loves a strong leg.

Badgley was mostly reliable in 2022, making 20 of 24 kicks. However, three of those misses came from 40+ yards, showing a notable long-distance concern. That said, he was perfect on his extra points (33-of-33), and 10-of-11 from 39 or shorter.

61. RB Jermar Jefferson (High: 54; Low: 70)

Last year’s ranking: 46

There is no better sign that Jefferson has a real chance to win the RB3 job than the fact that coach Dan Campbell said they were trying to find ways to promote him from the practice squad last year. Another player Campbell said that about: James Houston.

Unfortunately for Jefferson, he never got his shot last year, but now that he’s fully healthy, he’s got a serious chance to impress and he already showed signs of improvement in OTAs and minicamp.

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