This post is part of a series of posts in which I review the Lions position groups based on their play in the 2010 season. I assign a letter grade and give you a chance to have your say with a poll at the end.
Outside linebacker is a primary position of need and will get a lot of talk as draft season heats up. Anyone that watched the Detroit Lions in 2010 could have told you that. Simply put, the linebacking corps was terrible.
The one bright spot in the group is DeAndre Levy. His presence was missed early in the season as he dealt with a variety of injuries. Levy’s return signaled a reduction in missed tackles and stability in the middle. He made a run at the team lead in tackles despite playing in just eleven games. Remember, Levy was the main reason the Lions had no interest in bringing back Larry Foote or seeking another veteran option.
Zack Follett was given an opportunity to prove he can be a productive NFL linebacker but did little to inspire confidence in his five games before being lost for the season due to injury. While we all hope that he can return to football playing health, the Lions need an upgrade regardless. Follett’s future in the league remains as the Larry Izzo-type player that makes his mark on special teams.
Julian Peterson was once a highly productive player but those days are clearly behind him. He finished as the team’s second leading tackler but did so without making his presence known. It seemed that whenever Peterson tried to play with aggression he did so in a way that caused a man in stripes to throw his flag. Horse-collar tackles, late hits out of bounds; this is where Peterson’s presence was mostly felt. His benching in week 17 clearly didn’t have an adverse impact on the defense as the men who did play limited Adrian Peterson to 31 yards on 14 carries.
It can be argued that Bobby Carpenter was a bright spot along with Levy. While he did play well down the stretch, it is unlikely that the Lions will be satisfied with him as a starter in the long term. He does add depth at linebacker, something that has been severely lacking for a number of position groups, but the Lions will jump at the chance for an upgrade if the situation presents itself.
Overall Linebacker Grade: D
What grade do you give the Lions linebackers?
- D (49%, 57 Votes)
- C (40%, 46 Votes)
- F (7%, 8 Votes)
- B (3%, 4 Votes)
- A (1%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 116