The Detroit Lions have created the perfect draft scenario
By Robert Jones
Defense wins championships. Period. Despite all the rules changes that have given the offenses every advantage possible, the ability to stop an opponent when you need to the most is the most sought after weapon in the game.
If your defense can shut down an offense, especially when they are handed all the aces right from the opening kick off because of the rules, you give yourself a chance to win every week.
Matt Patricia defenses are known to sometimes bend but seldom break. They tend to not be overly aggressive from a schematic standpoint, but they do usually play with discipline and hit like a Mack truck.
And while we often get preoccupied with all the details that go into it like whether they are in a 3-4 front or a 4-3 set or maybe dropped out a linebacker for an extra safety, the fulcrum of every really good defense is the front seven.
The ability to shut down the run and force opponents to be one dimensional and have to pass is the most valued weapon on defense. Unless you can’t get to the passer. Guys like Aaron Rodgers are good enough on their own to pick apart a defense even if they do know he has to pass.
But if he doesn’t have time to pass, it doesn’t matter how good he is.
In the playoffs, the Patriots gave Tom Brady all kinds of time and he consistently burned his opponents on the way to winning his sixth Super Bowl.
The Lions biggest Achilles heel last season was how ineffective they were pressuring opposing passers. That is why the price was right to sign Trey Flowers. That is also why the pick would be right to give the Lions more help on the D-line.
There are a few players that will be available when the Lions are on the clock that could help and we all know their names. Mississippi State end Montez Sweat, Michigan’s Rashad Gary or Ed Oliver of Houston are three players that could very well be available and while they all have advantages and disadvantages, they all have the ability to help bolster the Lions defensive front leading to more pressure on opposing passers.
We’ll find out what Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia will do in a month. But the point is that after all the work the Lions have done to create more options for themselves, there are multiple directions they could go which would only make the Lions a better team. And ultimately, regardless of whatever player we prefer they take with their top pick, isn’t that what we all really want?