We are now in the meat of the Detroit Lions in our countdown from player 89 to 1. There is a very good chance that the majority of the players listed below will contribute in some way to the team for the 2022 season. Some will make the list and contribute immediately. Others may find their way into the coaching staff initially, having to postpone their chance to play on Sunday to later in the season or perhaps at another destination.
Players in the 60-51 range feature a few linebackers, which shouldn’t come as a surprise, because they all seem to be right there in the roster bubble.
Let’s take a closer look at these players and the competition around that list.
60. LB Shaun Dion Hamilton (highest rating: 47; lowest ranking: 65).
Last year’s ranking: 52
Sean Dion Hamilton drops eight places on this year’s list, which I find very interesting. Obviously, Hamilton has been hurt by his absence from the entire 2021 season due to an injury sustained in pre-season. However, adding it in free agency was considered relatively simple. Hamilton caused quite a stir during training camp last year, and he will have to do so again to round out the 53-player roster this year.
59. J. Logan Stenberg (highest: 52; lowest: 66).
Last year’s ranking: 48
Stenberg slipped from 34 to 48 to 59, a stark reminder that the young player’s trajectory isn’t permanent. However, there is a certain amount of hope surrounding Stenberg in the third year of his career. After spending much of the 2021 season rehabilitating from injury alongside Frank Ragneau, Stenberg is ready to compete for the primary reserve role on guard. And who knows? If he can finally show some technical growth with his pugnacious attitude, he will likely play a key role in 2023. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. He still has a lot of work to do even on this year’s list.
58.WR Trinity Benson (highest: 50; lowest: 63).
Last year’s ranking: N/A
Speaking of players hoping to make the leap this year, Benson has plenty to prove after a disappointing 2021 season. The Lions, desperate for offensive talent, traded in rounds five and seven with Benson and a sixth. Benson was instantly thrown into the fire—the first act of his NFL career—and simply, he wasn’t prepared for this moment.
However, with a year to come to terms with this offensive scheme, Benson looked like a completely different player during the OTAs, able to use his speed in many different ways.
Perhaps the most interesting comment about Benson this year came from head coach Dan Campbell, who was already thinking about how Benson could help them on special teams.
“He’s very tough. I think he can help us on special teams. I think he can be a gunner, and so if we can feel that fast, and he keeps catching the ball, does what he did in the spring, and then goes out and competes with my gunner on special teams, I think that’s He sends him well, he serves us well.”
57. CB Bobby Price (highest: 46; lowest: 72)
Last year’s ranking: 57
The price settled at 57 after moving from the safety to the back corner last year. That was enough to make a roster of 53 players last year, but when injuries gave him a chance to play in defense, he struggled and was eventually defeated by Jerry Jacobs.
Price still plays an important role on the special teams, but the Lions have a bunch of special squad players on the team now. He will have to prove more comfortable in his second year as an NFL player.
56. EDGE Austin Bryant (highest: 41; lowest: 68)
Last year’s ranking: 51
Last year, Bryant got the biggest opportunity to showcase his talents. He participated in five matches and played 14 matches. The results were mixed. Although it produced 4.5 bags and 14 compressions, it had a PFF score of only 54.5 with a scroll impulse score of 56.2.
55- LS Scott Daly (highest: 33; lowest: 76).
Last year’s ranking: 89
In previous years, it was a time-honoured tradition in these list rankings to put the spare long snapper at the bottom of the list. Little did we know last year that Scott Daly would end up dropping a giant, beating the everlasting Don Mohlbach at the start.
It should come as no surprise that there is a very long range of Dali classifications. First, it’s really hard to assess the level of play for a long snapper, considering that most outcomes are binary: you miss badly or you don’t. Plus, it’s possible that place value played a role in some of these lists, and if that’s part of the equation, it’s hard to put Daly into the top 50 list.
54. K Austin Seibert (highest: 42; lowest: 63)
Last year’s ranking: Unavailable
Seibert found the kicking job that the Lions started after Detroit decided to kick contestants out of training camp. Seibert came in and made 10 of 12 field goals and all five extra points. However, a thigh injury that required surgery kept him sidelined for the rest of the season, making way for Riley Patterson.
Patterson finished the season 13 of 14, which would likely make him the favorite for the job in 2022. However, he did not make a field goal beyond 50 yards.
Seibert and Patterson both struggled at spring camp, set up August to determine the Detroit primary.
53. J. Tommy Kramer (highest: 43; lowest: 59).
Last year’s ranking: 76
Kraemer represents our biggest jump yet in the countdown, the simple case of going from a no-fuss rookie with minimal expectations to a decent reserve who took advantage of the small chances he had in 2021. Kraemer ended up making nine games and three starts. He was filling both the left and right sides, and seemed rather relaxed. He enters training camp probably above Stenberg on the depth chart, but this is an underestimated camp fight.
52. LB Jared Davis (highest: 43; lowest: 58)
Last year’s ranking: N/A (32nd place in 2020)
After spending a year with the Jets, the Lions are back in the previous first round, but with lower expectations. Davis is firmly on the shortlist, and he knows it. But he has gone up before.
“Before I had a chance to play and show what I was made of in Florida, I was on the bench,” Davis told reporters last March. “There are a lot of things I’ve had to overcome and that’s just another thing in my life that excites me because I’ve often told people, it’s not always easy being on top of a mountain.”
Davis will have a fair chance of winning a spot in the roster in the far-flung quarterback room. It looks like Lions will also try to rely on Davis’ skills as a passing rusher, something that wasn’t used enough on his first assignment in Detroit.
51. EDGE James Houston (highest: 41; lowest: 66)
Last year’s ranking: N/A
It’s interesting that Houston lies directly above Davis in the countdown because the two could be fighting over the same spot on the roster. However, plans may have changed with Houston. At first, the Lyons seemed determined to give Houston a split role between the off-ball quarterback and the defensive end. But the coaching staff, noticing that a lot was on its page, reduced the tasks of the full-back.
“This whole week, he’s going to be in my room, this whole week,” Lions defensive line coach Todd Wash said during the final week of OTA. “We’re trying to calm his world down a bit, on the mental side of things, and really let him show off his athleticism that we saw in Jackson State.”
Will the Lions slowly introduce Houston into the quarterback room, or will his role be more limited in the junior season? How will that affect his squad chances?