It is virtually assured that not each draft choose will pan out from a given yr — it is only a stark fact of the gamble that’s the NFL Draft. Nevertheless, it’s not out of the realm of risk for a draft choose to not even make the roster of their rookie yr. Might that occur for the 2022 Detroit Lions?
The waiving of draft picks isn’t a international idea to those who have adopted Detroit for some time. In 2020, fifth-rounder Jason Huntley didn’t make the preliminary 53-man roster and was claimed off waivers. The yr prior, seventh-round defensive sort out PJ Johnson was waived on cutdown day. In 2017, two rookies didn’t make the roster: quarterback Brad Kaaya (sixth spherical) and defensive finish Pat O’Connor (seventh spherical).
In Brad Holmes’ first yr as the final supervisor for the Lions, he went an ideal seven-for-seven together with his draft picks making the staff — not solely that, however most of them contributed considerably all through the season. Even after an lively offseason, it appears seemingly that almost all, if not all, of those gamers will make this yr’s roster as properly.
The 2022 draft class may be a unique story, however not as a consequence of a scarcity of fine picks.
Barring some outrageous circumstances, the Lions’ first 4 picks ought to be roster locks. Aidan Hutchinson is the much-needed rusher move alongside the line of defense. Jameson Williams is the explosive playmaker. Josh Paschal is a flexible chess piece. Kerby Joseph is, on the very least, a stable security depth.
The following 4 picks, nevertheless, might need a bit extra uncertainty. As you’d count on, James Mitchell is prone to make the roster, however because of a deep and really unsettled tight finish group, there aren’t any ensures. Not solely does Mitchell want to come back again wholesome, however he must fend off the likes of Devin Funchess, Garrett Griffin, Brock Wright, and Shane Zylstra, amongst others.
Subsequent up are a pair of linebackers, each of whom may face powerful competitors. Malcolm Rodriguez’s greatest path to the roster is through particular groups, however so too are a bevy of different gamers. Chris Board, Jarrad Davis, Shaun Dion Hamilton, Natrez Patrick, Anthony Pittman, and Josh Woods may very properly push him for one of many few particular groups spots. As for James Houston, not solely does he must fend off the linebackers listed above, however he’s additionally dealing with competitors on the sting. He faces a stiff studying curve within the NFL, and it looks as if scaling again his position early on is the Lions’ go-to technique for him.
Lastly, Chase Lucas joins an already crowded cornerback group. Not solely do the Lions have starters Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye, however the depth is stable as properly. Jerry Jacobs, Ifeatu Melifonwu, AJ Parker, and Mike Hughes are simply a few of the names forward of Lucas on the depth chart — to not point out security Will Harris getting prolonged appears to be like at nook. Coupled together with his standing as a late-round choose, Lucas has ample competitors for a spot on the roster.
The Lions roster is much-improved from 2021. Will that price a draft choose a spot on the roster?
At present’s Query of the Day is:
Will any draft picks miss the preliminary 53-man roster?
My reply: I feel three of them will not make the preliminary 53-man roster: Jameson Williams, James Houston, and Chase Lucas.
Earlier than you angrily kind away about Williams not making the roster, it’s because he may land himself on the Bodily Unable to Carry out record (and due to this fact wouldn’t depend in direction of the roster restrict). The timeline for Williams continues to be up within the air, however the Lions might go for the affected person route with him; as soon as wholesome, he’ll be a priceless asset on offense.
As for the opposite two gamers, I feel they could possibly be victims of the numbers recreation.
In 2021, the Lions carried 5 linebackers on their preliminary 53-man roster. Alex Anzalone and Derrick Barnes ought to be locks, however that leaves two or three (possibly 4 at most) backup spots between Houston, Rodriguez, Board, Davis, Hamilton, Patrick, Pittman, and Woods. On condition that Houston is a little bit of a venture in comparison with the opposite linebackers, he may be destined for the observe squad — if he clears waivers.
Okudah, Oruwariye, Melifonwu, Jacobs, and Parker put the Lions at 5 cornerbacks, six if you happen to embrace Will Harris. There is a non-zero probability Mike Hughes will get lower, however getting into coaching camp, he looks as if a superb wager to make the staff. Lucas should impress on protection and particular groups to make the roster. Early on, Lucas has impressed coaches throughout OTAs. If he can translate that to coaching camp and the preseason, he may stand up the depth chart. At this level, nevertheless, I nonetheless see him on the skin wanting in.
With eight new draft picks becoming a member of the Lions roster, what number of of them will discover themselves on the 53-man roster come September?