Brandon Joseph is seizing opportunity to take spot on Lions' roster

Brandon Joseph spent 2023 on the Lions' practice squad, but he's making a push to make the 53-man roster this year.
David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

After the 2023 draft, safety Brandon Joseph was an interesting undrafted rookie signing by the Detroit Lions. He ended up sticking around the on practice squad, seeing action in two early games strictly on special teams.

Before this year's draft, Lions head coach Dan Campbell suggested the team was still on the lookout for safety help. When one was not procured in the draft, Joseph was an automatic post-draft winner. At minimum, barring a late veteran addition, he would have an opportunity to legitimately compete for a roster.

Through OTAs and now into mandatory minicamp, the Lions appear to be going with who they have a safety. Brian Branch may move to safety this year, with the cornerback room so bolstered this offseason. In terms of roster spots, Kerby Joseph, Ifeatu Melifonwu and C.J. Moore are locks, with the No. 5 safety spot lined up to be a battle.

Brandon Joseph taking full advantage of opportunity to win roster spot

Before Tuesday's first minicamp practice, via, here's what Campbell said about Joseph.

"(Joseph) was one of those guys who noticeably improved last year," Campbell said. "He didn't get a chance to play in the season, necessarily, we had him up. But to play defensive reps, he's kind of one of those, 'Boy, you wish you could've gotten him up.' There was a comfort level by the end of the year, like, this guy could probably go in there and hold his own a little bit. So that's a good sign. There has been noticeable growth from him last year, and even in the spring he's improved. So he's a young guy that we like a lot. He puts the work in, he's smart, he's crafty."

With Joseph (hip surgery) and Branch (left ankle?) recovering from injuries, Joseph is getting some first-team reps during offseason work. He followed Campbell's comments on Tuesday with a nice interception of Jared Goff during an 11-on-11 red zone drill.

According to reporters on-site, Joseph did get beat for a couple touchdowns by Kalif Raymond during Tuesday's practice, which points to the room he still has to improve. Via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, the second-year man is clearly ready to seize the opportunity that's in front of him.

"The opportunity is there and it's mine to make," he said. "I've got more reps against (Goff) and (St. Brown) than anybody in the country, playing against them (in practice) all year last year. Yeah, this year, going into spring camp and through OTAs, my goal is to get better every day and show these coaches that they've kept me around for a reason, and when the opportunity arises, I'll be ready."

Joseph has become a player to watch during OTAs and minicamp. With sheer opportunity to shine, he's doing everything he can to build a ton of momentum heading into training camp.