Rumors continue to circulate that the Detroit Lions will be talking to Reggie Bush in hopes of signing him as Jahvid Best‘s replacement. If that comes to pass, great, step one complete. the Lions can potentially fill one of their biggest needs with not only a solid replacement for Best, but in my opinion, a solid upgrade. However, there is still work to be done with the offensive skill positions with so many questions residing in the receiving corps. In fact, I’d argue that the receiving corps is in worse shape than the running game, especially if the Lions can sign Bush.
Nov.16, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush (22) runs against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins won 24-3. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Titus Young forced his way out of Detroit, Ryan Broyles is coming off his second ACL injury in two years and Nate Burleson is a year older and rehabbing a broken leg. The Lions can still be solid with these group of players, but the Lions haven’t aimed to just be “solid” on offense. The offense is built to be explosive and take shots down field, or turn a screen play into a 30-yard gain. The Lions need a player that’s capable of doing both and capitalizing on one on one match ups, because of the attention Calvin Johnson will be drawing.
With that said, I feel like the most important move the Lions could make this off season through the draft would be adding Tavon Austin. There just isn’t another player like him in free agency or in the draft. And with Austin’s speed, I’m not sure there would be a defense that could keep up with the Lions. He’d also fit the budget plan as opposed to signing a big named free agent receiver with a similar skill set.
Let’s take a look at the Super Bowl match up this year. Both the Ravens and 49ers had elite return men in Jacoby Jones and Ted Ginn and in the Ravens case, Jones made a huge impact as a receiver as well. Players with elite speed change the game. It doesn’t matter how good defense’s coverages are if they can’t keep up with a player with world class speed and pairing a player with that skill set alongside Calvin Johnson would be a nightmare for opposing defenses.
Another huge plus for drafting Austin is the financial relief he could offer as opposed to signing a big named receiver in free agency. The Lions have needs they need to fill. Reggie Bush, if signed, will take up some cap room and I’m not sure the Lions can afford a talented receiver with needs at defensive end and in the secondary. If the Lions plan on drafting Austin, it would be a better position for the team financially.
It’s the offseason, usually the happiest time for Lions fans because there is so much to look forward to. Namely, an offense that features a legitimate threat opposite Calvin Johnson, a dynamic running back that can stretch the field as well as anyone in the NFL paired with a brute running back like Mikel Leshoure and a top five pick that could be used to solidify Matthew Stafford‘s health for the next decade or to fill a huge need in the secondary or defensive end.
I’m not sure how the offseason will shape up, but if the Lions could add Reggie Bush and Tavon Austin they will be one of the most dangerous offenses in the NFL.