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POLL: How many WRs will make the Detroit Lions’ initial 53-man roster?

With 13 wide receivers on the current roster, it’s a crowded room for a limited number of spots. How many wideouts will the Detroit #Lions keep on their initial 53-man roster?

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

In wake of the Detroit Lions signing wide receiver Avery Davis, there is a thought that might have crossed your mind: Another receiver?!

Even if you exclude an injured Tom Kennedy, the wide receiver group is a logjam. There are four obvious players that will make the team: Marvin Jones Jr., Kalif Raymond, Josh Reynolds, and Amon-Ra St. Brown. A fifth wideout, Jameson Williams, will not count towards the initial 53-man roster as he serves his suspension. Yet beyond those names, the roster battles remain wide open with no clear frontrunners, to say nothing of how many spots will even be available.

The rest of the position group is filled out by Maurice Alexander, Trinity Benson, Chase Cota, the newly-signed Davis, Dylan Drummond, seventh-round rookie Antoine Green, recently-traded Denzel Mims, and Trey Quinn. If you’re keeping track, that’s a total of 13 wide receivers on the current roster. That’s a sizable group to cut down.

An NFL team will typically carry anywhere from four to seven wide receivers. The Baltimore Ravens actually carried just three wideouts on the active roster during their Wild Card loss to the Cincinnati Bengals this past January, though Andy Isabella was elevated from the practice squad. That was a byproduct of injuries over the course of a season, so for a team’s initial 53, it would be very unlikely to see under four receivers.

Looking at the Lions under general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell, the Lions have carried a wide number of receivers. The 2021 initial roster had six receivers, but the Lions would acquire KhaDarel Hodge off of waivers the very next day. That seven-man receiver group would only last a short period of time before Tyrell Williams ended up on the Injured Reserve a few weeks later.

The 2022 roster was more straightforward. The Lions kept five wideouts at first, a number that wouldn’t change until Alexander and Kennedy were promoted from the practice squad when Quintez Cephus went on the Injured Reserve.

With such a large group of receivers and an unknown number of roster spots, the Lions will have some tough choices to make come the regular season.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

How many receivers will make the Detroit Lions’ initial 53-man roster?

My answer: I think the Lions will keep five receivers.

As mentioned, the Lions likely have four receivers as roster locks, plus a suspended Williams. The biggest debate to me is keeping five spots versus six, and I think five is a better fit for the roster. When you get toward the bottom of the depth chart, players have to do more than catch the football. To make the roster, they will need to contribute on special teams. Typically special teams roles for backup wideouts include returners, gunners, and kick coverage.

While the Lions have some candidates here, I think the roster spot might go toward another position. Alexander is an option at returner, but Raymond has the punt return spot locked down, while Justin Jackson is a frontrunner for both RB3 and kickoff returns. As for gunners and coverage, the Lions also boast a deep secondary, including the likes of Steven Gilmore, Jerry Jacobs, Chase Lucas, Saivion Smith, Brian Branch, and Starling Thomas. I think there’s more value in keeping an additional defensive back over a sixth or seventh wide receiver. There’s also the tight end group, as Sam LaPorta, James Mitchell, and Brock Wright could each play an active role in the passing game, thereby reducing the need for more receivers.

I think keeping five receivers is a good enough compromise between depth and roster organization. How many receivers do you think will make the roster? Do you have any predictions? Scroll down to the comments and share your thoughts.

Poll

How many receivers will make the Detroit Lions’ initial 53-man roster?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    4
    (8 votes)
  • 36%
    5
    (398 votes)
  • 60%
    6
    (659 votes)
  • 1%
    7 or more
    (16 votes)
1081 votes total Vote Now

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