5 Detroit Lions firmly on the roster bubble after the 2022 NFL Draft
2. RB Godwin Igwebuike
Igwebuike was effective as a kickoff returner last year (24.9 yards per return), and he averaged 6.6 yards per carry in limited work as a runner (18 carries) as he transitioned to a new position.
Opportunity knocked when D’Andre Swift (shoulder) missed time and Jamaal Williams also missed a couple games, but Igwebuike fumbled it away (two lost fumbles) and Craig Reynolds stepped in as the lead back.
Pride of Detroit’s post-draft 53-man roster projection has the Lions keeping Igwebuike over Reynolds. I don’t see it, if that’s what the choice comes down to. Even 2021 seventh-round pick Jermar Jefferson should be in more danger of losing a roster spot than Reynolds. UDFA Greg Bell is also in the mix, and shouldn’t be dismissed automatically as a factor.
1. WR Trinity Benson
The Lions have said all the positive things they can say about Benson. But the ramifications (which might be a big word) of the trade that brought him in from the Broncos late last preseason went all the way to the weeks before the draft, when they officially lost their seventh-round pick.
The addition of Jameson Williams with the 12th overall pick automatically alters the Lions’ wide receiver pecking order after the signing of DJ Chark in free agency. Kalil Pimpleton, Corey Sutton and Josh Johnson were also added as undrafted free agents, and all three have more upside than Benson.
Benson may not make it to training camp still on the Lions’ roster. But Williams’ recovery from his ACL tear could buy him a chance as a camp and preseason body, and the sentiment from general manager Brad Holmes and receivers coach Antwaan Randle El seems likely to give him some extra leash.
But make no mistake. If Benson is on the Lions’ 53-man roster, or probably even on the practice squad, come September something has very much not gone according to plan in the Detroit receiving corps.