Detroit Lions: Five potential trade replacements at defensive end

KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15: Outside linebacker Tamba Hali
KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15: Outside linebacker Tamba Hali /

Injuries are crippling the Detroit Lions at defensive end. They need to secure the position before it’s too late to overcome.

For now, the Detroit Lions look to rely on some in-house options at defensive end before they pursue other options. There has been some promising play from their depth players but will those players be worthy once they take on first team offenses? It would be wise to invest in another player in case the players already on the roster can’t perform well.

Having more quality pass rushers never hurts. Getting someone with the pedigree of getting after the quarterback or has actually started or played an extensive amount of games in the NFL is much-needed.

Will Clarke, Cincinnati Bengals

The third year was the charm for the former first round pick to show he has some game in him. For the first time, he played in 16 games for Cincinnati and did pretty solid as a backup. In year four, Clarke could finally breakout, and he would be affordable to trade for.

(16 Games, 0 Starts): 15 tackles, 4.0 sacks, 1 PBU

Tamba Hali, Kansas City Chiefs

Expressing his interest in being a starter and his displeasure with Kansas City, he is a trade candidate. His numbers were down overall, but he was barely used. Hali might be the best trade option out there, but it’ll cost the Lions quite a bit to do so.

(16 Games, 2 Starts): 34 tackles, 3.5 sacks

Courtney Upshaw, Atlanta Falcons

Slightly buried on the depth chart in Atlanta, he could use another change of scenery. If Upshaw was used more, I think you’d see a sizable difference in his production. This is another affordable addition that could help some in the pass rush and even linebacker in a pinch, but especially as a run defender.

(13 Games, 5 Starts): 24 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 1 PBU, 1FF

Sam Acho, Chicago Bears

Chicago has plenty of pass rushers and could benefit from shipping one out in exchange for something in return. Acho has seen time as a starter and hasn’t been overly impressive, but playing in a heavy rotation makes it difficult to stand out. Overall, he is a cheap and solid that has the versatility to rush with his hand in the dirt or standing up.

(16 Games, 6 Starts): 27 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 1 PBU, 1 FF

Next: Will this glaring weakness derail the Lions' season?

Cam Johnson, Cleveland Browns

If there is any team in the NFL that loves to trade it’s Cleveland. It took playing on his third team, in his fifth season to finally show off his skills. On a better team in Detroit, with better coaching, I think his potential could sky-rocket.

(12 Games, 9 Starts): 32 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 1 PBU, 2FF