Lions' Post-Minicamp 53-Man Roster Prediction

Who could steal a spot on Lions' 2024 roster?
Detroit Lions defensive end Levi Onwuzurike (91) practices during mini camp at Detroit Lions headquarters and practice facility in Allen Park on Tuesday, June 4, 2024.
Detroit Lions defensive end Levi Onwuzurike (91) practices during mini camp at Detroit Lions headquarters and practice facility in Allen Park on Tuesday, June 4, 2024. / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Detroit Lions have completed their mandatory minicamp. With the conclusion of Thursday's practice, many of the veterans will head their separate ways before reconvening at training camp later in the summer.

Detroit's coaching staff will have plenty of tough decisions to make at the conclusion of camp, as the talent level within the roster has increased.

Here is the latest All Lions 53-man roster prediction as minicamp comes to a close.

Quarterbacks (2)

Jared Goff
Hendon Hooker

Though Hooker has struggled in open practice sessions, he has still shown flashes of the talent that the Lions were drawn to. He should still get every opportunity to be the team’s backup, and with so much talent on the roster elsewhere it’s hard to justify keeping a third passer. 

Running backs (4)

David Montgomery
Jahmyr Gibbs
Craig Reynolds
Sione Vaki

Reynolds isn’t going anywhere without a fight, as his understanding of the scheme and protections is valuable in a pinch. He can also provide production when needed. Vaki, a rookie, should be a core special teamer early in his career with limited opportunities out of the backfield. 

Wide receivers (6)

Amon-Ra St. Brown
Jameson Williams
Kalif Raymond
Donovan Peoples-Jones
Antoine Green
Daurice Fountain

As of now, the top three appear set. Peoples-Jones and Green have alternated between reps with the first and second teams, so both should be able to fill depth roles with the possibility of contributing when needed. 

For the last spot, Fountain is intriguing. He spent all of last year on the practice squad and has good size. If he can be reliable in training camp, there is a spot for the taking. 

Tight ends (3)

Sam LaPorta
Brock Wright
Shane Zylstra

LaPorta and Wright seem safe, but there will be a battle for the third spot. Zylstra has plenty of upside and could’ve made the roster last year if not for the injury he suffered in training camp. James Mitchell is another interesting option, but injuries have hindered his ability to produce. 

Veterans Parker Hesse and Sean McKeon are potential options to battle for spots if the Lions plan to keep an extra body to occupy the fullback role.

Offensive line (9)

Frank Ragnow
Graham Glasgow
Kevin Zeitler
Taylor Decker
Penei Sewell
Christian Mahogany
Giovanni Manu
Colby Sorsdal
Dan Skipper

With the starting five set, the Lions have several players to choose from as backups. Skipper can be ready tackle depth, as Manu may require more seasoning before he’s ready. Sorsdal has also gotten reps back at tackle, and can be a utility piece. 

Kayode Awosika is the odd one out for now, though he would be a practice squad candidate who could be elevated in a pinch in this scenario. It’s hard to see either rookie not making the roster, and Sorsdal has the benefit of being a pick from a year ago. As the pieces up front get older, the Lions should invest in their youth.

Defensive line (5) 

Alim McNeill
DJ Reader
Mekhi Wingo
Brodric Martin
Levi Onwuzurike

With Onwuzurike having a strong spring, the Lions could give him one last look on the final year of his rookie contract. He hasn’t been healthy in each of the last two years, so an extended look could allow him to prove what he’s capable of. 

Wingo is an interesting piece, as he has been seeing some action as a big edge in different schemes. The defensive line will have versatility, and new position coach Terrell Williams can help mold the unit to Aaron Glenn’s liking. 

Detroit Lions defensive lineman Mekhi Wingo (94)
Detroit Lions defensive lineman Mekhi Wingo (94) / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

EDGE (5)

Aidan Hutchinson
Marcus Davenport
Josh Paschal 
James Houston
Mathieu Betts

The edge position needs new blood, as the unit struggled to get to the passer last year. Houston is back and healthy after missing most of last year and can be a major contributor in his third NFL season. 

Betts is the pick here over John Cominsky in what was one of the toughest cuts. Cominsky’s role diminished down the stretch last season, and Betts offers interesting potential as the 2023 CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player. He could prove to be a steal for the Lions. 

Linebacker (5)

Alex Anzalone
Jack Campbell
Derrick Barnes
Malcolm Rodriguez
Jalen Reeves-Maybin

The linebacker rotation is full of experience, so this was one of the relatively easier positions to forecast. There’s always the chance that a UDFA shows some mettle in training camp, but for now the veterans appear to have their spots locked down. 

Cornerback (6)

Carlton Davis
Terrion Arnold
Amik Robertson
Ennis Rakestraw
Emmanuel Moseley
Khalil Dorsey

The Lions’ overhauled defensive back room will make for tough decisions at the back end of the roster. The top-five on this list will likely all be locks to make the roster barring something unforeseen, and the final spot could be between Dorsey, Kindle Vildor and Steven Gilmore.

Dorsey is the pick right now because of his special teams ability, as well as his strong spring. However, Gilmore has the benefit of young upside as a 2023 UDFA and Vildor played in big games for the Lions down the stretch last year. 

Safety (5)

Kerby Joseph
Ifeatu Melifonwu
Brian Branch
Brandon Joseph
C.J. Moore

The Lions have been a meritocracy since Campbell took over, so Brandon Joseph has the chance to make the roster if he performs to the coaching staff’s liking in the absence of Kerby Joseph and Branch. He has looked good in his reps with the first-team defense, and could be a valuable role player. 

Moore will be a core special teamer with experience on defense as well, so he is a player worth keeping around. Branch is listed here as a safety, but certainly has inside and outside corner versatility if the Lions want to make other decisions with their roster. 

Special teams (3)

Michael Badgley (K)
Jack Fox (P)
Scott Daly (LS)


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Christian Booher

CHRISTIAN BOOHER

Sports journalist who has covered the Detroit Lions the past three NFL seasons. Christian brings expert analysis, insights and an ability to fairly assess how the team is performing in a tough NFC North division.