Camp battles 2022, Offense

Looking at the depth chart heading into 2022 OTAs and eventually training camp, which positions present the most intrigue?
It looks like the following positions are up for grabs:
TE3
RB3 and RB4
OL8
WR5 and WR6

QB - Goff and Boyle are virtual locks, with Blough undoubtedly heading to the PS.

TE - Hock and Mitchell are in, with Wright, Griffin, Zylstra, Deese and Givan fighting for 1 spot.

RB - Williams, Swift and Cabinda are in. Igwebuike and Jefferson are in, but should be nervous about Reynolds and Bell challenging them for a spot.

WR - Jamo, Chark, ARSB, Reynolds are locks. I personally think Cephus and Raymond are, too, but it’s conceivable the UDFA class might challenge for a spot or two. The challengers are: Pimpleton, Kennedy, Sutton, Benson and Johnson.

OL - We know the starting 5. Brown and Nelson are virtual locks at backup. That leaves 1 or 2 spots open for: Obeid, Kraemer, Jarvis, McCollum, Stenberg, Skipper and Eze. The money they spent on Eze tells me he’s our 8th lineman. Is there a 9th?

It seems like the biggest battles of the most significance is at RB.

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You think? Just for KR returns. His ball security issues kind of turned me off.

I agree that the WR room is fixed. They’re keeping six and we know the six.

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With a deeper roster I can see us only keeping 4 backs (Cabinda included). Reynolds and/or Bell to the practice squad. Without an injury to our top 3, a 4th running back is pretty pointless.

Don’t read too much into the guaranteed salary the Lions gave him, it likely won’t come up, as if he’s cut, he’ll end up on our PS, someone else’s PS or someone’s 53 man and the guaranteed base won’t matter. If Eze is on someone PS for 13 weeks or active roster for 4 weeks, the Lions are out nothing but the $20K signing bonus.

All the guaranteed base does is pretty much guarantee Eze, Jarvis, Bell and Deese a spot on our practice squad.

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I feel like Reynolds has the inside track for 3rd RB myself. I thought he played well last year.

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Thanks, DS. I usually read the bonus to be a reflection of the interest there was in the player. The guarantees, even if completely lost, aren’t that big of deal in making the roster decision. It’s whether it was necessary to keep some other team’s grubby mitts off of them. Assuming there’s interest from others, it may influence your cut-to-53 decision. By contrast, we’ve moved Skipper on and off the PS several times and wouldn’t fear his being claimed on cut day.

Kind of crazy when you look at the WR room compared to what it looked like a year ago.

They had two band aids, Cephus and a 4th round rookie to now having a legit #1 if he plays to his potential (and let’s be honest, Jamo is a stud when healthy) two #2s in Chark and a now developed St. Brown (although it could be argued that Chark is a band aid) and a #3/4 in Reynolds. Cephus, who was arguably their #1 at times last season is now they’re #5.

Of course it’s dependent on health but they have the potential to go from the worst wide receiver group in the NFL to one of the best. The WRs and D-Line are going to be really fun units to watch in the coming years. Not to mention, the O-Line as well.

In any event, as has been mentioned, RB3 and RB4 will be the biggest competition in camp. I think the corner battle should be interesting too. Oruwariye, Okudah, Iffy, Jacobs, Harris I suppose. Lots of youth battling for spots. Obviously Amani is a lock to start, probably Okudah too but lots of competition. Would liked to have seen a vet outside of Hughes to push them but there will be some stiff competition for spots.

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Defense will be another thread. :wink:

But I agree, the RB battle is real.
That last TE spot is completely up in the air at this point.

My enthusiasm took me off the rails for a moment :wink:

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Big fan of Reynolds. But I think Jefferson has the upper hand at RB3. Reynolds could steal it though. But I think Reynolds passes through waivers and Jefferson potentially doesn’t. Making it easier for Reynolds to make it to PS.

But this is with my theory of only keeping 3 RBs not 4.

I like Wright in what I saw of him. He made his chances count and can block and receive.

Jefferson is intriguing as a RB. They didn’t take any this year so they like the room. I think you need a 5 guy platoon (2/3 dress with Igwe as ST emergency) as it’s an injury plagued position. My preference would be to preserve/keep Swift for the second half when you need some electricity and the defense is tired and softened up. Start with guys like Reynolds and J Williams that will get you tough yards. Igwe is very versatile if he can clean up the fumbles. I think he makes the team as a 5th guy ST swiss army knife like last season.

For QB, it’s so hard to get a guy ramped up in your system, knowing all your plays, and tendencies. I think that is why they like Boyle and Blough for now. Neither is a successor, but they can at least run the offense for stints if they need to. If Goff goes down, you trade for Baker/Foles/Minshew or the seasons truly over anyway.

For WR, I’ll be curious if Raymond makes it. He’s the kind of guy you call off the couch late in the season if you have injuries to 2 of your top 4.

It looks to me like there is a lot more depth this season and that’s because so many UDFAs and PS guys were called into action. The Rams were down to their 4th and 5th string guys last season at 3 positions. You have to have that ready depth and the Lions have WAY more than last season already.

You are not predicting 5 running backs make the team are you? That’s not happening. It’s Cabinda plus 3 maybe 4. One of Igwebuike, Reynolds, Jefferson aren’t gonna make it. And if igwebuike is the odd man out, I predict he’s released. I think the rookie Bell has a better shot at making it over igwebuike.

I think Raymond for sure makes it. Especially if Jamo isn’t ready to go week 1. And if that’s the case, another WR has a shot to make the team as well.

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Wright was nothing special, along with every TE outside of Hock last year. Raymond was Top 5 in punt returns for anyone with over 20 and was a solid WR, he isn’t going anywhere. QB totally sucks with re to depth, Boyle and Blough are going to have to learn a new O under their new OC, there really isn’t advantage for them over anyone else over than knowing their way around Allen Park. RB is likely to be last years group with new faces on the PS. OL, Benson, Eze and Nelson are the backups.

We needed a 4th last year.
JJ, Netflix, J-Will, and swift all got some reps. If JJ would not have gotten hurt…

JJ could surprise this year. That would be a sweet X-factor, if he did. Not expecting it, necessarily, but I’m thinking we haven’t seen anything near his ceiling yet. :wink:

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If you’re asking me, yes, I am. Well, 4 RBs and a FB.

Yeah, I think Raymond makes it, too.

I figure 24 offensive players
2 QB
6 WR
5 RB
3 TE
8 OL

Yes we will almost definitely need more than the 3 we keep. But that’s what the practice squad is for. A lot of teams keep 4 RBs. But the teams that do usually don’t also have a FB and we do. It’s taking a roster spot away from someone else.

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This is most likely what we do.

I thought you meant all 5 RBs plus Cabinda

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And the practice squad is much bigger than it used to be. So stashing players has become easier.

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Yes including PS. They will have to determine who they think can make the PS and not be picked up on waivers. Blough is also such a guy.

Having a full offseason to implement will be nice, but both guys spent significant time with Ben Johnson last season. It would HAVE to be easier/faster for those 2 than some JAG claimed from another team.

Exactly AND igwe as well. He got significant touches backing up Netflix. He fumbled too much but also showed the ability to break away.

There won’t be 5 on the game day roster, but the Lions need 5 guys in their 85. We also have Aman Ra that could take a handful of snaps at RB in an emergency.

Personally, I feel like Cabinda is the weak link in the room. He is an inconsistent blocker and hardly a threat unless the defense forgets him. He adds some culture value and is an emergency LB and ST guy but I see him as extremely mediocre in a dying position.

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Agree. I’m confused by this too (him being on the team)