Detroit Lions: Biggest positions of need for 2018
With the season all but over and one meaningless game left, the Detroit Lions can focus on 2018. This roster needs upgrades in many positions.
When the Detroit Lions take on the Green Bay Packers in Motown, the game won’t have any implications. Sure draft positioning comes into play but it’s mostly just bragging rights that are up for grabs.
Win or lose, it’s the end of the road for both teams in 2017. Preparing for the future has already started with many players and coaches future’s in question.
Based on the issues the Lions have now and projections for next year, here’s a list of positions that need serious addressing for next season.
Sure GM Bob Quinn invested heavily in T.J. Lang and Ricky Wagner, but there will likely be a major hole to fill this offseason. Assuming the Lions move on from Travis Swanson, Graham Glasgow would assume center responsibilities, leaving a hole at left guard.
The play of Joe Dahl is encouraging, but competition is needed to secure the offensive line is better than it has been the past few seasons. Injuries and a clear coaching scheme failure have really hurt Detroit.
Overall depth is very weak, so it wouldn’t hurt to have good players sitting on the bench. Getting a starting guard and adding depth at center and tackle would do wonders. Giving up an average of 3.0 sacks per game (27th in the NFL) is inexcusable.
Granted, the injury bug struck this position hard, but it did better than their offensive counterpart. Tied with Cleveland, Denver and Houston, Detroit ranks 20th in sacks with 31.
That’s not too shabby for a squad with so many injuries, preseason and during the season. Where the Lions lack the most is interior pass rush.
Granted, the need for better edge rushers is needed, regardless of Ziggy Ansah returning or not. Collapsing the pocket is something the Lions need to do better, which in turn translates to better edge rushing.
With Haloti Ngata likely moving on, getting a stud defensive tackle with pass rushing capabilities should take precedence over finding another edge rusher. Defensive end is still a need to make sure constant pressure can be on the quarterback, but it isn’t as pressing a need as most believe it is. The return of some injured players should boost the pass rush from the outside in 2018.
Guys like Barry Sanders are once in a lifetime players. So unless the Lions bank on him coming out of retirement, they need to get a quality NFL running back.
The running backs on the roster currently fit more of the complementary role, all filling a certain niche. What would really help Detroit is a back that checks all the boxes. At at the very least, a hard downhill running style of football between the tackles.
Next: Are the Detroit Lions ‘Built Quinn Tough?’
Believe it or not, a special running back can make do with an average offensive line. Ideally, the Lions should have quality at both positions in case of injury or ineffectiveness at either spot.