10 players the Lions should consider asking for waivers

The initial 53-man rosters were created around the league. One of the cascading effects of the cuts from 80 players to 53 players for each of the 32 clubs in the NFL is that the exemption wire is flowing with a massive influx. Every player with less than four seasons due in the NFL is available to claim a waiver by any other team.

The Detroit Lions are currently ranked second in priority in waiver claims. It depends on the draft order (before the traded choices) from the previous draft. Only Jacksonville Jaguars can claim any player before the Lions get a chance.

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Claiming a player means they are immediately added to the active roster, which also means that lions will have to cut someone who is currently on the 53-man roster to make room (or move someone to IR). They should remain on the active roster for the first week, according to this week’s NFL media release,

If a player is assigned to the club via waivers at any time, the club shall count the player on its active roster for at least two business days and prohibit the circulation of that player unless he is an active/inactive club member roster for one season, regular season game or for seven Calendar days, whichever occurs first.

Here are 10 players eligible for concessions the Detroit Lions should consider grabbing.

The Lions got to see Weatherford up close and personal in joint training sessions with the Indianapolis Colts. The LB rookie from Miami (Ohio) did well against the Lions and also showed off picking up a pass in a pre-season game with the Buffalo Bills. Weatherford is switching from college safety to NFL LB and has the speed and coverage instincts that fit someone who’s played DB.

Kirby Lee USA Today Sports

The Raiders quickly surrendered Leatherwood, the 17th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. That’s right – the first-round pick was abandoned just one season ago by a team that doesn’t already have a proven in-house replacement.

Leatherwood didn’t do well in his first year in the NFL, splitting between right tackle and right guard, there’s no doubt about that. It was a penalty shootout show of poor footwork and a lack of confidence. But there are physical gadgets Lions OL coach Hank Fraley can work with, and the Lions doesn’t need to play Leatherwood in 2022. The swing intervention is one place the Lions attack can use some reinforcements.

Jerome Meron – USA TODAY Sports

Watts must be a household name for black fans. He’s been dealing with the nose of the NFC North rival Vikings for the past three years and has had two of his best career matches against Detroit.

The Vikings decided they wanted to get faster in the position with a new coaching staff, so Watts became a strange man. Selected in the sixth round of 2019, he’s got the length and handling power on the defensive inside – a position where lions are scarce at proven depth.

(AP Photo/Butch Dale)

Junior failed to make the Jacksonville Jaguars as an unpolished rookie. But he’s a player the Lions know well since Senior Bowl week, where producer Ouachita Baptist demonstrated speed, ball skills and a bitchy attitude. Junior played well in the pre-season games against Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Claiming it means pushing someone away and that’s more valuable than that needs to be taken into account for Junior, but he’s a young player who holds some promise in a position where Lions always need more of that.

Stephen R. Sylvani USA Today Sports

The list of QBs available in the concessions isn’t as attractive as most Lions fans would hope, but Mond is probably the best mix of up-and-coming talent and a talent match for Detroit. The selection of Minnesota in the third round of Texas A&M in the 2021 NFL Draft quickly led to it welcoming two different disciplines.

Don’t expect this to happen. Mond was not fascinated by black as a prospect heading into the 2021 draft and did little to change that view. But the Lions No. 2 QB is bad, and that might be enough to impress a brilliant passerby sometimes but often as erratic as the Mond.

Tim Heitman – USA TODAY Sports

Blair was abandoned by the Seahawks after three injury-ridden seasons. In the second round of Utah in the 2019 NFL Draft, Blair played well as a rookie before his first countless injuries.

With Lions conceded/injured safety CJ Moore, there is an opportunity for a severe safety with some covering skills and special teams ability—even with Blair’s legitimate durability concerns.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA Today Sports

Agim was a selection for the third round in 2020 by the Denver Broncos. Much like Detroit’s Julian Okwara from the same draft year and tour, Agim showed real talent in the NFL when he was on the field, but keeping him on the field was a problem. He’s dominated Denver pre-season games and has a body type and playing style that fits in well with the Lions’ 4-man front.

Kirby Lee USA Today Sports

Harris was a surprise cut by the Rams, who drafted the athletically talented receiver in the fourth round in 2021. Much like the lions’ cast, Devin Funches, Harris straddles the line between TE and WR. He’s doing it in a less polished style – he didn’t play football until college – but a lot more sports than Funchess did, and he still has an improvement in growth.

Pinnock was a fifth-round pick in 2021 by the Jets outside of Pittsburgh, where he played Cornerback. New York tried to turn him into a safe place with some success – he started three games late in the year and held up fairly well. With the uncertain health status of Ifeatu Melifonwu, who does the same spot transition in Detroit, Pinnock is a natural apple-to-apple alternative if “Iffy” goes IR.

Woodside has been around for an unusually long time for a player to still qualify for waivers. Originally a seventh-round pick from Toledo in 2018, he bounced between Cincinnati and Tennessee and played moderately. Woodside is the bigger and better athlete than David Blow and he’s a consistently more accurate pass, though like Blough is guilty of blunder at times – watch the Titans play pre-season with the Ravens.

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