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It’s pretty easy to point out the top players on a team. You have your Calvin Johnsons, your DeAndre Levys, and of course your quarterback is going to be up there for most important player on your team. There are 53 people that make a final roster, however, so it’s really just semantics arguing who’s at the top since they’re well within that safe zone for making the team. Still, there’ s a flip side to that coin. Last season I kept a running “Bottom Ten” for the Detroit Lions roster and I plan on doing so again. It doesn’t mean that they’re terrible (Usually), in fact players that started at spot #90 ended up improving immensely in two of the past three years (Rodney Austin and Andrew Peacock) and made the practice squad. So who makes this not so honorable distinction in 2015?
Jarred Haggins, WR?
Rookie out of Florida State
Sure, I mean, he’s listed as a receiver. He only caught 21 passes in FOUR YEARS at Florida State, however, with only a single catch last season. So I have no idea why he’s on the Detroit Lions roster. Maybe he’s a really nice guy, I don’t know, but he isn’t a great athlete and hasn’t shown himself to be a competent football player.
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Rookie from Notre Dame
There has to be a last place and the undrafted kicker out of Notre Dame fills it by default. Barring injury, there’s no chance he makes the Detroit Lions roster. There is no competition at either position on special teams, making Brindza a camp leg. The feel good story is that Matt Prater started the same way, but that will mean little to Kyle Brindza in 2015 where he’ll likely be one of the first cuts when that time comes.
Jermelle Cudjo, DT
4th Year Player last with the Rams
The Detroit Lions roster is presently bereft of any superstar talent at defensive tackle, so in theory Cudjo will have a shot to make the roster. I don’t really expect much out of the guy, however, as he has already floated around for a few years and made no real impact. A rotational role player at his very best, he’ll be jockeying with better prospects like Xavier Proctor who already have a year in the system, as well as the pending free agent signing of Andre Fluellen (You know it’ll happen).
Kerry Hyder, DE
2nd Year Player out of Texas Tech
Kerry Hyder stands out on the Lions field, but only because he doesn’t fit their mold of defensive ends. Far shorter and without the long vines for arms that have become Martin Mayhew‘s trademark, he’s out of place. His athletic numbers are nothing to be proud of either, and Hyder has remained at the bottom of the roster since his signing.
Al Bond, OG
Rookie out of Memphis
There’s always going to be more than their fair share of undrafted free agent rookies on this list and Bond is basically a body to fill space. He and Torrian Wilson will each get a shot, but Wilson is a bit better as a prospect.
Anthony Boone, QB
Rookie out of Duke
The only way he’d make the team is as their 3rd QB. A 3rd QB is normally held by a developmental prospect who, by way of superior but raw athleticism or superior football intelligence, is brought in for the team to mold into either a capable starter or a reserve. Anthony Boone is neither a good athlete (Lowest athletic score for a QB since 2005) nor is he a superior football mind like Kellen Moore.
Jordan Thompson, TE
2nd Year Player out of Ohio (Practice Squad in 2014)
Thompson was brought in as a moldable long snapper to work behind pro bowler Don Muhlbach. He started out training camp a little rough, but it sounded like he was making headway. With the signing of linebacker Kevin Snyder, whose longsnapping skills were mentioned by the staff repeatedly, Thompson comes in as a 3rd long snapper. he has some potential as an Hback, but in spot duty last season he dropped his only target.
Jerrell Harris, LB
2nd Year Player out of Alabama
Harris doesn’t have any traits that stand out in a positive way to me. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing there, only that he hasn’t shown anything. Then again, it could mean that there’s nothing there.
Emil Igwenagu, FB
3rd Year Player last with the Eagles (Practice Squad in 2014)
Jed Collins was only okay at his best last season. Emil Igwenagu could not beat him out for a roster spot at a part time position. More notable, Jed Collins was a terrible special teamer, and Igwenagu couldn’t beat him out there either. The team actually drafted a fullback in the 5th round to fill that Detroit Lions roster spot, so it’s pretty clear Igwenagu belongs this low or lower.
Jeremy Ross, WR/KR
Am I being too hard on Jeremy Ross? I mean, the guy came in and filled that #3 WR role in 2014, notching 24 receptions and 314 yards. Targeted only 35 times, his catch rate isn’t even that bad. So why this low? Ross managed to be targeted only 35 times on over 700 snaps. That’s less than a 5% target rate, lower than EVERY player on the Detroit Lions except blocking tight ends Brandon Pettigrew and Kellen Davis. His receiving percetange of 3.39% was lower than all but Pettigrew, Davis, and Jordan Thompson (Who was targeted once).