Detroit Lions’ Plans At Defensive End Hinge on Development of Larry Webster, Devin Taylor


The Detroit Lions didn’t add a defensive end in the draft, and the reasoning was, they likely have plenty of excitement regarding what’s already on the roster.

There are veterans of course, but also two young players in Larry Webster and Devin Taylor that must begin to make an impact. Given their youth and experience within Detroit’s program, it should be a good bet.

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But that only intensifies the pressure on each player to step up and make an impact. When something is expected, pressure can sometimes create an unbearable cauldron.

Taylor is likely the player with the most to give considering 2015 will be his second full season in Detroit. In 2013, he burst on the scene as a rookie and collected 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Taylor looked like he could be an immediate difference maker.

In 2014, he was lost in the shuffle, only contributing one sack and 12 tackles.

Similarly, high hopes were maintained for Webster considering his status as a freak athlete and a player who maintained a solid NFL bloodline given his father played in the league.

Webster, though, wasn’t ready to make an impact last season either. Instead, he spent time learning the ropes and adding weight. Now, from all indications, he looks ready to get on the field and make an impact thanks to his new physique.’s Kyle Meinke spoke with Webster about what changes he’s made.

"“I’ve gained some weight,” Webster said last week. “I’m trying to get bigger and stuff like that. And right now, I’m right where I should be.”Webster said he’s up to about 270 pounds. He was listed at 262 pounds last year."

Both Taylor and Webster remain unknown yet intriguing quantities. Each have the skills and intangibles to go from underrated to wildly successful, yet neither is near proven enough to be counted on certainly.

Both Taylor and Webster remain unknown yet intriguing quantities.

It sets up an interesting scenario for the Lions. They’ll be depending on both players to trend forward and take major steps in order to solidify a defensive line that has seen much change in 2015. With Ndamukong Suh gone and players like Jason Jones and Haloti Ngata aging, it will be up to a youth movement to take hold.

At defensive end, Detroit has Ziggy Ansah to count on for the future. Outside of him, there’s nothing but a few giant, able-bodied question marks.

How Taylor and Webster each react to being next up may tell the story about the evolution of the Lions’ defensive line moving forward.

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