Detroit Lions 2024 53-Man Roster Projection 1.0

An early look at what Detroit's final roster could look like.
Jan 28, 2024; Santa Clara, California, USA; Detroit Lions linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez (44), defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) and outside linebacker James Houston (41).
Jan 28, 2024; Santa Clara, California, USA; Detroit Lions linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez (44), defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) and outside linebacker James Houston (41). / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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The Detroit Lions know their draft picks, and now the attention can fully turn toward preparing for next season.

The 2024 campaign is expected to be an exciting one, as the Lions have established themselves as contenders for the Super Bowl going forward.

With the season on the horizon, here's a look at what the 53-man roster could look like at the conclusion of training camp.

Quarterbacks (2)

Jared Goff
Hendon Hooker

The only question here is whether the team will keep three passers on the active roster to provide extra depth in case of injury. Even with the NFL allowing teams to designate a third passer on game days, it’s unlikely. Hooker will get his opportunity to be Goff’s backup. 

Running backs (4)

Jahmyr Gibbs
David Montgomery
Craig Reynolds
Sione Vaki (Rookie)

The Lions have carried three running backs in the past, but that number will likely go up to four with the presence of Vaki. The Utah product is expected to focus at running back after playing collegiately at safety, but will primarily provide special teams depth early in his career. 

That’s not to say that both Reynolds and Vaki won’t have competition. Zonovan Knight worked his way onto the active roster last year before suffering an injury, and Jermar Jefferson remained on the practice squad throughout the year before inking a futures deal to remain with the organization. 

Wide receivers (6)

Amon-Ra St. Brown

Jameson Williams
Kalif Raymond
Donovan Peoples-Jones
Antoine Green
Tre’Quan Smith

The first four listed are locks to make the roster. Green has an inside track, too, as a seventh-round pick last year who had big moments in the preseason. Smith, meanwhile, is the most seasoned of the other available options, having spent time in New Orleans with Campbell. 

However, there will be challengers for the final spots. Isaiah Williams inked a UDFA deal with a large amount of guaranteed money, while Tom Kennedy, Maurice Alexander and Daurice Fountain all have spent at least a year with the organization. 


Tight ends (3)

Sam LaPorta

Brock Wright
James Mitchell

Right now, Mitchell is the favorite to earn the third spot. Zylstra is coming off a knee injury suffered in training camp last year, but he has athletic traits that are enticing. Undrafted free agent Isaac Rex is also an intriguing option who could steal one of the final spots. Yet, Mitchell has untapped potential, and entering his third year, he could get one last opportunity to prove himself in the regular season. 

Offensive linemen (9)

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

The Lions’ line is in good shape. With so much talent, it’s hard to see them keeping less than this number, as they’ve invested plenty in the group as of late. Mahogany was a good value pick, and he’ll compete for guard reps with Sorsdal and Kayode Awosika. I have Sorsdal edging out Awosika for one of the final available spots on the roster at this stage. 

Manu is too exciting of a prospect to not make the roster, but he’ll need time to develop before he’s able to contribute. As a result, Skipper makes the team as the swing tackle. 

Defensive tackle  (5)

Alim McNeill
DJ Reader
Brodric Martin
Mekhi Wingo (Rookie)
Levi Onwuzurike

With the addition of Mekhi Wingo, the pressure is on Levi Onwuzurike. In the final year of his rookie deal, the Washington product is facing a make-or-break situation in training camp. 

Martin is likely due for a bigger role this year, but Reader will be the anchor of the defense from the nose tackle position. 

EDGE (6)

Aidan Hutchinson
Marcus Davenport
John Cominsky
Josh Paschal
James Houston
Mathieu Betts

What can the Lions get out of James Houston? He showed great promise as a rookie, but missed most of last season with an ankle injury. As he reenters the fold, the Lions hope to tap back into his 2022 form. Meanwhile, Paschal showed promise at the end of the year when healthy and Cominsky has been a stabilizing force. 

Betts is among the more interesting players on the roster. As the reigning CFL Defensive Player of The Year, he has the chance to make an impact at the highest level now. He’ll be a player to watch at training camp for certain. 

Linebackers (5)

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

With no new noteworthy additions, the linebacking corps is pretty much set. Campbell will be looked upon to take a leap in year two, while Barnes and Rodriguez are capable of surprising many and moving up the depth chart. 

Cornerbacks (7)

Carlton Davis
Amik Robertson
Terrion Arnold (Rookie)
Ennis Rakestraw Jr. (Rookie)
Emmanuel Moseley
Kindle Vildor
Khalil Dorsey

With an almost entirely new cornerback group, the Lions have the making of an exciting secondary. There’s also plenty of versatility within this group, as Aaron Glenn will have no shortage of options to plug and play options within his secondary.

Safeties (3)

Kerby Joseph
Ifeatu Melifonwu
Brian Branch

The safety position seems light at first glance, but the versatility of the cornerbacks allows for some unique looks. Melifonwu is looking to build on a strong finish to last season and appears to be set for his first true extended look in the secondary. Branch, meanwhile, is the nickel cornerback but could be in line for more reps at safety in 2024. 


Special teams (3)

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

Christian Booher