Detroit Lions backs and tight ends to watch
At tight end and fullback, those top couple of spots are safely held by Hockenson and James. What we do know is that Bevell’s approach is to create mismatches and present multiple problems for opposing defenses through personnel, including a fullback or H-back type of position. Hockenson can do many things and can definitely be the H-back in many sets.
What the Lions have beyond them are fullbacks Nick Bawden and Luke Sellers, move-tight ends (hybrid tight end-fullbacks) Isaac Nauta and Hunter Bryant, and Matt Sokol who is another in-line blocker and traditional tight end.
It would be odd to think that the Detroit Lions would keep more than two of this group, which would seem to preclude Sokol. There may only be one player kept who offers the most versatile set of skills if things get as tight as we see them getting.
In a scenario where they keep one guy, it’s probably Bawden’s to lose if he stays healthy, which he has yet to do. Nauta and Bryant would be next up with Nauta probably having the edge as a returning player.
Prediction: We’re only adding Bawden as the fullback-H-back roleplayer bringing the total tight ends and fullbacks to three spots. Nauta was a guy that we wanted to keep but he lost a numbers game. Three more tight ends or fullbacks brings the total offensive spots used to eighteen.