As the Detroit Lions turn their attention from free agency to the 2014 NFL Draft, it could be argued the Lions have their starting lineups in place. With James Ihedigbo‘s deal as the last major piece of free agency, the Lions are left without any glaring holes.
A starting 11 would look something like this if the season started today.
Are there opportunities to get better? Sure, but while some might say the cornerback position is a weak link or that the Lions need to add a receiver, there isn’t a position group that demands the Lions’ first round pick. Instead, the Lions will have the opportunity to pick between a number of options that help them get better and pick the one they believe is best. No need to to reach, not need to over-react.
With a deep class of wide receivers the Lions don’t have to be compelled to take one in the first round.
While the Lions can entertain thoughts of upgrading their secondary, those players are traditionally impact players as rookies. With a “win now” attitude, the Lions are free to select for immediate impact regardless of position. Maybe that is a versatile pass rusher like Anthony Barr or Khalil Mack.
Maybe the Lions feel the best use of the pick is to lock down what they believe will be the best young offensive line for the foreseeable future and take one of the top tackle prospects.
Despite re-signing Brandon Pettigew, the Lions could get more explosive at tight end with Eric Ebron.
After announcing they won’t be picking up Nick Fairley’s fifth-year option, perhaps the Lions find a replacement in Aaron Donald.
If the right offer is on the board, they can move up. Or down.
The Lions didn’t have the biggest or best free agency but they used what resources they had in a balanced way that closed the big gaps. Now heading into the draft, all options are on the table.