Detroit Lions Top Ten Weakest Positions (And How to Fix Them)

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Left Tackle

Present Starter: Riley Reiff

Right tackle is in worse shape than the left side, so this may seem odd that it’s higher than it’s bookend.  As it is, the Detroit Lions have less options to replace their left tackle and thus it is more important that they do so.  Riley Reiff has an 8 million dollar cap hit in 2016 and that’s unacceptable for how he’s played at LT.  It’s possible they flip him to the right side in the hopes that fixes things (It probably won’t), but keeping him at left tackle at his present pay is going to be a problem.

Free Agency Fix

Best Free Agent: Cordy Glenn
Other Options: Russell Okung, Donald Penn

Cordy Glenn is generally not listed as the best free agent offensive tackle.  He is listed as such here because I believe he is.  The market will favor a guy like Okung, despite his long history of injuries, due to where he played and how their run game functioned.  Donald Penn has seen a career resurgence in Oakland, but this is an interesting market.  As it is, the Lions have cap money to spend and left tackle is a prime position of need.  If they can pry Glenn from Buffalo, the improvement on that line can’t be overstated.

2016 NFL Draft Fix

Best Prospect: Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
Other Options: Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame; Taylor Decker, Ohio State; Jason Spriggs, Indiana

With their improvement in the second half of the season, the Detroit Lions likely played themselves out of getting a premiere player in Laremy Tunsil from Ole Miss. This is a top heavy draft for offensive tackles, however, and almost all of them are of the left tackle variety.  There isn’t much drop off, if any, between Stanley, Decker, and Spriggs, with several others in the first or second round that could immediately improve left tackle.

Next: Defensive Tackle