Lions trim roster to 53 with no major surprises; Boyle, Davis released

No huge surprises were found among the Lions who were released or waived on Tuesday to cut the roster down to an NFL-mandated 53 players.

The roster is fluid and could change daily. Also, the Lions can bring back 16 players to the practice squad on Wednesday, but they must clear waivers first.

Coach Dan Campbell made it clear on Monday that the Lions will be searching for possible pickups especially since they have the No. 2 chance to sign players (due to last season’s 3-13-1 record).

Since quarterback Tim Boyle was released, it appears that David Blough has won the backup quarterback role at least for now.

Wide receiver Tom Kennedy had a good camp but could have been a victim of numbers and was not solid on special teams. Wide receivers Maurice Alexander and Kalil Pimpleton (the juggler on “Hard Knocks”) were also waived and could reappear on the practice squad. Wide receivers who made the cut are DJ Chark, Josh Reynolds, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kalif Raymond and Quintez Cephus.

Tight end Devin Funchess didn’t make the roster. The Lions are going with tight ends T.J. Hockenson, Brock Wright, Shane Zylstra and James Mitchell.

LInebacker Jarrad Davis, who the Lions were giving a second chance, was released. Davis was a first-round pick of the Lions in 2017 but they didn’t pick up his fifth-year option in May 2020 and he signed with the Giants.

Kicker Riley Patterson was waived. Patterson and Austin Seibert seemed to be neck and neck in the position battle. Seibert was 10 of 12 on field goals for the Lions in 2021.

The Lions will open the season on Sept. 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles at Ford Field.

PLACED ON RESERVE/PUP

CB Jerry Jacobs

RELEASED

QB Tim Boyle

LB Jarrad Davis

TE Devin Funchess

DL Bruce Hector

RB Justin Jackson

T Kendall Lamm

T Dan Skipper 

WAIVED

WR Maurice Alexander

CB Cedric Boswell

TE Derrick Deese

T Obinna Eze

CB Mark Gilbert

LB James Houston

RB Godwin Igwebuike

WR Tom Kennedy

CB A.J. Parker

K Riley Patterson

T Darrin Paulo

WR Kalil Pimpleton

LB Anthony Pittman

CB Saivion Smith 

WAIVED INJURED

DL Eric Banks

WR Trinity Benson

DL Jashon Cornell

G Kevin Jarvis

S C.J. Moore

Five reasons the Detroit Lions will draft cornerback Jeff Okudah at third overall

Lions GM Bob Quinn has pulled a few surprises in his first four drafts with the Detroit Lions.

He opted for tight end T.J. Hockenson a year ago who was not a popular mock draft pick for the eighth overall pick. In 2018 offensive tackle Frank Ragnow was his top pick at 20th overall. In 2017, he drafted Jarrad Davis at 21st overall and in his first-ever draft in Detroit Taylor Decker got the nod with the 16th pick.

So what does Quinn have planned for this draft which starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday?

Good question. He has never drafted this high — the Lions own the No. 3 overall pick, along with eight other picks.

Cornerback Jeff Okudah seems to be the popular pick for the Lions in the first round. That doesn’t mean Quinn will necessarily draft him, but he certainly looks like the top contender in that spot.

Here are five reasons the Lions will draft Okudah:

1. The cornerback has the ideal size — he’s 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds — and the Ohio State credentials. He is set to become the 14th Buckeyes’ cornerback to be drafted in the first round since 1991. He’s also got speed. Scouts say he’s exceptionally quick and can close in on the ball. Face it, the kid has it all.

2. Quinn wants an impact player with that third overall pick. “We have enough guidance in that range that we think we can do that. … Our goal is to get impactful players throughout the draft, whether they’re starters in the middle rounds or just backup and role players and special teams players later in the draft. Our goals haven’t changed, the circumstances have obviously,’’ Quinn said in his pre-draft press conference via Zoom.

3. With the trade of Darius Slay to the Eagles, the Lions have a big need at cornerback. They signed free agent corners Desmond Trufant and Tony McRae. Trufant is not a match for Slay one-on-one. 

4. It’s not common to draft a cornerback early. In the past 19 drafts only five cornerbacks have been drafted in the top five. Quinn said he had no problem with doing so (he wasn’t talking about a specific player) if the prospect was worth the pick. “If we go back to free agency a year ago, we signed Justin Coleman to play nickel and we paid him like a starter because we feel like you need three starting level corners to have a productive defense. So, why teams have shied away, I can’t really answer that. You have to ask the teams that have passed. I’ve never been this high in the draft to experience that,’’ Quinn said. 

5. Okudah is the top of the deep class at cornerback. CBSSports.com says, “(He’s) the best coverage CB in this class and it’s not even close.’’ If Quinn doesn’t grab him with the third overall pick, he’ll have a chance to draft corners later in the draft. But Okudah is a game-changer and could step in right away. Remember Slay only started four of 13 games he played in his rookie season. He wasn’t Big-Play Slay out of the gate, but turned into one of the best in the NFL. That’s exactly what could happen with Okudah.

 

Bo Scarbrough, Christian Jones among the injured Lions inactive vs. the Bucs

DETROIT — It’s a beat-up Lions squad that takes the field today to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field.

Running back Bo Scarbrough (ribs) is out along with linebacker Christian Jones (shoulder). Jones was working with trainers on the sidelines nearly three hours before kickoff, but obviously wasn’t ready to play.

Five Lions were ruled out on Friday: Quarterback Matthew Stafford (hip/back), linebacker Jarrad Davis (ankle/knee), left guard Joe Dahl (back/knee), defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (shoulder) and right tackle Rick Wagner (knee). 

Dahl and Davis were placed on injured reserve on Saturday. Running back Wes Hills and offensive tackle Dan Skipper were signed to the active roster from the practice squad.

The other inactives are cornerback Michael Jackson and guard Beau Benzschawel. 

Ten of the Lions’ starters for Week One won’t be on the field today. Nine due to injury and also Quandre Diggs who was traded.

The Lions (3-9-1) have lost six straight and are 2-4 at home this season, while the Bucs (6-7) have won their last three.

David Blough will get his third straight start at quarterback for Detroit.