2022 Detroit Lions bubble watch: Training camp roster predictions, offense

With Detroit Lions training camp for the 2022 season kicking off on Wednesday, it’s time for the return of our Bubble Watch series. In this weekly article, we will be keeping track of the players currently on the proverbial “Roster bubble,” meaning players who we project to be right on the edge of making the team’s 53-man roster or just missing the cut.

During training camp, nine members of the Pride of Detroit staff will make their predictions on which players are “IN” and which are “OUT.” As we get more information from training camp, not only will our votes change, but some players may move on and off the roster bubble. This is a fun way to not only stay informed on which players are either falling in or out of favor, but to track the progress and see how much expectations have changed from the beginning of camp to the end of camp.

We begin Bubble Watch by breaking down the players on offense who are in danger of being off the roster. Within each section, you can read our further thoughts on the positional battles with our training camp previews, authored by Jeremy Reisman and Erik Schlitt.

Here are the results of Bubble Watch: Offense, Week 1:

2022 Bubble Watch: Offense, Week 1

players Jeremy Reisman Ryan Mathews Mike Payton Hamza Alex Reno Eric Schlitt John Whiticar Chris Perfat Jerry Mallory TOTAL
players Jeremy Reisman Ryan Mathews Mike Payton Hamza Alex Reno Eric Schlitt John Whiticar Chris Perfat Jerry Mallory TOTAL
QB Tim Boyle OUT IN OUT IN IN IN IN IN IN 7
QB David Blough IN IN IN IN IN OUT OUT IN IN 7
RB Jermar Jefferson IN OUT OUT IN IN OUT OUT IN IN 5
RB Craig Reynolds OUT IN IN IN OUT IN IN OUT OUT 5
RB Godwin Igwebuike IN OUT OUT OUT IN IN IN IN IN 6
TE Brock Wright IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 9
TE Garrett Griffin OUT IN OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT 1
TE Shane Zylstra OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT 0
TE Devin Funchess OUT OUT IN OUT IN OUT OUT OUT IN 3
WR Trinity Benson IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 9
WR Quintez Cephus IN IN OUT IN IN IN IN IN IN 8th
WR Tom Kennedy OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT 0
OT Matt Nelson IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 9
OT Dan Skipper OUT OUT OUT OUT IN OUT OUT IN OUT 2
OT Obinna Eze OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT 0
G Logan Stenberg IN OUT IN IN OUT OUT OUT IN OUT 4
G Tommy Kraemer OUT IN OUT OUT OUT IN IN OUT IN 4
G Kevin Jarvis OUT OUT OUT IN OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT 1
C Evan Brown IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 9

quarterback

Read our QB training camp battle preview here

  • Tim Boyle — 7 “IN” votes
  • David Blough — 7 “IN” votes

Presumed in: Jared Goff
Presumed out: N/A

The first question here is how many will the Lions keep. Five of us believe Detroit will stick with three quarterbacks, while four of us believe Detroit will only keep two this year. The four that believe Detroit will cut one of their backups are split between which quarterback that will be.

Running back

Read our RB training camp battle preview here

  • Godwin Igwebuike — 6
  • Craig Reynolds—5
  • Jermar Jefferson — 5

Presumed in: D’Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams
Presumed out: Greg Bell

Unsurprisingly, the crew is split on how the Lions will choose to fill out their running back room beyond D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. Most have the Lions keeping two additional backs, but those votes are evenly split among the top three candidates—UDFA Greg Bell has work to do to get on the bubble. Igwebuike likely holds the top spot right now due to his skills as the Lions’ primary kick returner last year.

Tight end

Read our TE training camp battle preview here

  • Brock Wright—9
  • Garrett Griffin—1
  • Shane Zylstra — 0

Presumed in: TJ Hockenson, James Mitchell
Presumed out: Derek Deese Jr., Nolan Givan

For now, we’re assuming rookie fifth-round pick James Mitchell is in, especially now that it appears he avoided the Non-Football Injury list. It seems like everyone is in agreement that Brock Wright is entering camp as TE3 (maybe even TE2 over Mitchell). About half of us believe the Lions will keep a fourth tight end, with the newest offensive addition Devin Funchess being the most commonly voted TE4.

Wide receiver

Read our WR training camp battle preview here

  • Trinity Benson—9
  • Quintez Cephus — 8
  • Tom Kennedy — 0

Presumed in: Amon-Ra St. Brown, DJ Chark, Josh Reynolds, Caliph Raymond
Presumed out: Kalil Pimpleton, Corey Sutton, Josh Johnson

The underlying question here is whether Jameson Williams will be ready for the regular season or will be placed on reserve/Non-Football Injury list and miss at least the first four weeks of the year. If he makes it off the NFI list, then the Lions will likely only be able to keep one of Trinity Benson and Quintez Cephus as WR6. However, if Williams stays on the NFI list, Detroit can afford to keep both, although there is no guarantee they carry six receivers to the roster.

Kalil Pimpleton is a fan favorite already, but he’ll have to prove he’s that much more of a weapon—specifically as a returner—to get onto the bubble.

Offensive tackle

Read our OT training camp battle preview here

  • Matt Nelson — 9
  • Dan Skipper — 2
  • Obinna Eze — 0

Presumed in: Taylor Decker, Penei Sewell
Presumed out: N/A

In our offensive tackle preview, we debated the merits of keeping a fourth offensive tackle, and by the looks of it, most of us are convinced the Lions should only keep three. That may simply be a reflection of the (lack of) confidence in Detroit’s depth here. Nelson proved he can hang as a sixth offensive lineman, while Skipper and Eze will have to make their cases in camp.

Guard/Centre

Read our G/C training camp battle preview here

  • Evan Brown—9
  • Logan Stenberg — 4
  • Tommy Kramer — 4
  • Kevin Jarvis—1

Presumed in: Jonah Jackson, Frank Ragnow, Halapoulivaati Vaitai
Presumed out: Zein Obeid, Ryan McCollum

Evan Brown may not even be on the roster bubble after proving he’s a more-than-capable backup to center Frank Ragnow last year. How the Lions will back up their guards is much more in the air right now. Logan Stenberg has some positive momentum after seeing early reps in OTAs, but Tommy Kraemer has more on-field experience after starting three games as a rookie last year. Kevin Jarvis also got a vote, likely due to the $155,000 guaranteed he got in his rookie contract—the second highest in this year’s UDFA class.

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