Detroit Lions training camp predictions: Defensive players in the roster bubble

On Monday, we broke down which players will go into the attack Detroit Lions Boot camp on the roster bubble, and make predictions about who will make the roster and who will see their bubble burst at the end of pre-season.

Now is the time to focus on the defensive side of the ball. In terms of attack, the Lions’ starting lineup is relatively flat, and a lot of the training camp battles seem pretty straightforward at the moment. The defensive side of the ball couldn’t be more different. Not only will there be many entry-level jobs on hand, but Detroit will have to make some tough decisions in depth. The fact that many of these defensive players are diverse in poses further complicates the situation.

But our team did their best to predict which players who enter bootcamp in the defensive roster bubble will end up in the 53-player roster.

Welcome to Defense Bubble Watch: Week 1.

Bubble Watch: Defense/ST, Week 1

player Jeremy Raisman Ryan Matthews Mike Payton Hamza Alex Reno Eric Schlett John Whitcar Chris Perfitt Jerry Mallory the total
player Jeremy Raisman Ryan Matthews Mike Payton Hamza Alex Reno Eric Schlett John Whitcar Chris Perfitt Jerry Mallory the total
DT Gashon Cornell in in in in in in in in in 9
DT Bruce Hector Outside in Outside in Outside Outside Outside Outside in 3
Demetrius Taylor Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside 0
DT Isaiah Buggs Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside 0
EDGE / LB Jarrad Davis in in in in in in in in in 9
Edge James Houston Outside in in in in in Outside Outside in 6
Edge Austin Bryant Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside 0
Edge John Kominsky Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside 0
LB Malcolm Rodriguez in in in in in in in in in 9
LB Josh Woods Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside 0
LP Sean Dion Hamilton Outside Outside in in Outside Outside Outside in in 4
LP Anthony Bateman in in Outside in in Outside in in in 7
CBAJ Parker in in in in in in in in in 9
CB Mike Hughes in in in in in in in in in 9
CB Chase Lucas in Outside in Outside in in in in in 7
CB Bobby Price Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside in 1
CB Mark Gilbert Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside 0
S CJ Moore in Outside in in in in in Outside Outside 6
S Brady Breeze Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside 0
S JuJu Hughes Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside 0
As Austin Seibert in Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside in in in 4
K Riley Patterson Outside Outside in in in in Outside Outside Outside 4

Defensive handling

Read the DT Training Camp battle preview here

  • Jason Cornell – 9 “IN” sounds
  • Bruce Hector – 3 sounds “IN”
  • Demetrius Taylor – 0
  • Isaiah Bags – 0

Supposed in: Michael Brookers, Alem McNeill, Levi Onuzurik

It seems likely that the Lions will only make four defensive tackles considering the versatility of the defender’s room, which means there may really only be one place to grab it here in training camp. After a solid performance in off-season activities this spring, Jashon Cornell is a unanimous DT4 according to our employees. However, some believe Bruce Hector will make his way to the roster after he was given some playing time to relieve an injury late last year.

Edge Defender

Read the EDGE Training Camp battle preview here

  • Jared Davis (left back) – 9
  • James Houston – 6
  • Austin Bryant – 0
  • John Kominsky – 0

Supposed in: Charles Harris, Aidan Hutchinson, Julian Okwara, Josh Paschal (PUP)
Presumed: Romeo Okwara (PUP), Eric Banks, Natriz Patrick (NFI)

Note: These predictions were made before Natrez Patrick and Josh Paschal were placed on the NFI and PUP lists, respectively.

Injuries in this position upon entering camp muddied the waters, but it also likely opened up the opportunity for some depths players to make their case early in camp. With no Romeo Okwara, Natriz Patrick, or Josh Paschal to start, James Huston, Austin Bryant, and John Kominsky will get plenty of cast. Don’t be surprised to see one — or a few — of them jump in the bubble for the first two weeks.

So far, though, staff have been divided over the fate of sixth-round rookie James Huston, who appeared to be heading toward a more hybrid EDGE/LB role before Detroit opted for it. Reducing the duties of the full-back. With a more focused approach, Houston has a great opportunity to prove that his unstoppable rush in passes from Jackson State translates to the next level.

Interestingly, Jared Davis was unanimous. Unlike Houston, this hybrid role will likely carry over into the camp, and we’ve seen flashes of Davis pop up in both positions. Most importantly, Davis is a totally culture perfection here, and you’re likely to contribute to at least special teams.

back

Read the LB Training Camp battle preview here

  • Malcolm Rodriguez – 9
  • Anthony Bateman – 7
  • Josh Woods – 0

Supposed in: Alex Anzalone, Chris Board, Derek Barnes
Supposed out: none

POD employees purchase all of Malcolm Rodriguez’s inventory there. Despite being a sixth-round pick, he made a huge impression on the young rookie. At this point, he may not be on the shortlist at all, but with so little information in this position, you can’t be completely sure.

We’re less certain about Bateman. He also earned a lot of praise in the spring, returning to the squad after scoring the most special squad for the Lions in 2021.

Sean Dion Hamilton remains, in theory, pretty solid depth. He dropped out of the last training camp, but picked up a season-ending injury before the regular season arrived. A repeat performance this year (without injury) could push him into the starting line-up.

back corner

Read the CB Training Camp battle preview here

  • AJ Parker – 9
  • Mike Hughes – 9
  • Chase Lucas – 7
  • Bobby Price – 1
  • Mark Gilbert – 0

Supposed in: Amani Orori, Jeff Okuda, Will Harris, Ivito Milifuno
Supposedly: Sivion Smith, Cedric Boswell
Not included due to unclear injury status: Jerry Jacobs (PUP)

Jerry Jacobs was considered “supposedly” ahead of news on Sunday that he will be starting a PUP boot camp. You’ll very likely see it on Bubble Watch next week.

Beyond that, Detroit’s nickel corner battle is fantastic. AJ Parker, Mike Hughes, and Chase Lucas are all contenders, and most of the staff decided all three bring something worth keeping on the list. Parker played valiantly last season in the starting role, and given such a solid coaching body, it’s reasonable to expect him to be even better this year. Mike Hughes was just as strong as the Nickelback player last season, and he brings the versatility to playing abroad as well. Chase Lucas is as smart as you can expect from a 25-year-old rookie, and can instantly contribute to special teams.

The question here is what will the lions do deep in the outer corner? For now, we’re assuming Will Harris as the starting replacement considering he played the position relatively well at the end of last season and into the spring. But is Ifeatu Melifonwu an external corner, a safety or an external nickel? If he stays in the corner, it will be very difficult for the likes of Bobby Price, Mark Gilbert and the UDFAs to break the roster.

This situation is in flux, and we can see some drastic changes here once the Lions actually take the field and reveal some of their intentions.

safety

Read Training Camp S battle preview here

  • CJ Moore – 6
  • Brady Breeze – 0
  • JoJo Hughes – 0

Supposed in: Tracy Walker, Deshaun Elliott, Kirby Joseph
Supposed out: none

Like Cornerback, we have to wait for things to shake up in camp to see who it is In fact In the competition for depth here, but the outlook is certainly more clear here. Tracy Walker and DeShon Elliott are the undisputed starters now, and third-round rookie Kirby Joseph is safe from cuts on the roster. But will the Lions rely on Harris and Milifuno for additional depth, or will they have room for CJ Moore, who can contribute to special teams and provide proper play as defensive depth? For now, Moore is still in the majority, but he’s definitely not a lock.

kicker

Read the ST Training Camp battle preview here

  • Austin Seibert – 4
  • Riley Patterson – 4

Right now, the staff is split right in the middle between the player who started the 2021 season (Seibert) and the guy who finished the season (Patterson). Both played well during the season, but showed a worrying inconsistency in the spring. If this continues, I suppose it is entirely possible that the Lions will once again decide to move from both roster karate players into training camp, Like they did last year (And as Ryan Matthews already predicted.)