The Detroit Lions are going into free agency next month with a laundry list of needs. But which positions are at the top of that list? Here’s our best guess.
Coming off a disappointing 6-10 record, the Detroit Lions have plenty of needs going into 2019. But which positional need is the most pressing heading into free agency?
Determining the Lions’ biggest team needs and their biggest free agency needs are different. The latter is dictated by the quality of veterans available at certain positions as well as their potential cost.
For example, cornerback could be the Lions’ biggest team need. But because there is a severe lack of quality defensive backs expected to be available when the market opens next month, that position would not necessarily be considered a top free agency need.
With that in mind, here is our best guess at the Lions’ top needs heading into free agency …
#1 – Edge Rusher
This need is ranked number one for one name … and one name only: Trey Flowers. The former New England Patriot figures to be the Lions’ top free agent target when the market opens in March. His connection with Patricia plus the unknown status of fellow edge rusher Ezekiel Ansah makes this one a no-brainer. Other names to watch include Jadeveon Clowney and Frank Clark.
#2 – Cornerback
Detroit desperately needs a cornerback to pair with two-time Pro Bowler Darius Slay. The Lions had a major swing and a miss with former second-rounder Teez Tabor. Combined with the fact rookie corners typically take longer to develop, Detroit should look to free agency to find a more experienced solution. Some interesting names include Ronald Darby, Pierre Desir, and Michigan State’s own Darqueze Dennard.
#3 – Running Back
With Kerryon Johnson clearly the starter heading into 2019, Detroit needs a complementary running back who might be able to play a more significant role if needed. Johnson has an extensive injury history and Detroit can not afford to rely on him as a workhorse. The top free agent running backs include Le’Veon Bell, Tevin Coleman, and Mark Ingram. But the Lions are more likely to sign veterans like C.J. Anderson, Jay Ajayi or Adrian Peterson.
#4 – Wide Receiver
The Lions missed Golden Tate when they traded him away midseason. But they also already have a couple talented receivers still on the roster in Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. What they really need is a versatile wideout that can play out of the slot. Some possible free agents that fit that mold are Cole Beasley, John Brown and Jamison Crowder.
#5 – Tight End
There is a severe lack of quality tight ends scheduled to hit free agency next month. So despite the position be arguably the biggest offensive need for the Lions, the lack of selection likely means it will be addressed in the draft. If Detroit does decide it needs to add a veteran or two, here are some names to consider: Jared Cook, Demetrius Harris, Jesse James.