From there Ta-hir
The linebackers have been very average, or worse, depending on the game. Rookie middle linebacker, Jarrad Davis, was being given the keys to the defense and was expected to have growing pains. So, some struggle was anticipated.
Davis was being asked to adjust to the pro game and make all of the defensive calls for what was one of the worst units in 2016. The Lions added free agent, Paul Worrilow, from Atlanta, moved Tahir Whitehead over to the weak side, from the inside, and drafted Davis.
Worrilow has been injured much of the year, Davis has struggled, and Whitehead has had a pretty good year. Davis possesses great speed but got abused, especially in passing situations. The game against the Carolina Panthers’ backup tight end, Ed Dickson, is a great illustration. In general, Worrilow is a stop-gap on the strong side and a marginal starter, as well.
Mo’ money, mo’ problems
More talent and speed is necessary to upgrade the position group as a whole. They are better than their 2016 counterparts but still not very steady up the middle of the defense.
Of note, the Lions have really struggled against play-action, which is designed to freeze the linebackers.
With their five draft picks, the Lions will likely not have any picks to address the position, but according to spotrac.com, the Lions look to have about $59 million in available cap space for next year. I’m sure some will go toward fixing the ‘backers.