Should the Detroit Lions trade for pass rusher Vic Beasley?
The Detroit Lions are in desperate need of a pass rusher. Could acquiring former top-ten pick Vic Beasley from the Atlanta Falcons be the answer?
Through five games so far, the Detroit Lions have recorded a combined 10.0 sacks as a defense. That ranks the Motor City tied for 26th in this all-important defensive category. That fact is, the Lions could use another pass rusher.
Half of Detroit’s 10.0 sack total comes from linebackers Devon Kennard and Christian Jones from a defensive unit that doesn’t blitz very often. Instead, the Lions seem to prefer to get their primary pass rush from their defensive lineman, who incidentally have been pretty banged up this season.
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Mike Daniels has only played in three games, recording a total of two tackles, due to a foot injury. Daniels has already been ruled out for Sunday’s matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.
Last year’s breakout defensive rookie, Da’Shawn Hand, has yet to see the field this season due to an elbow injury. And 2019 fourth-rounder, Clemson’s Austin Bryant, has yet to make his Lions’ debut as he continues to rehab from surgery for a torn pectoral muscle.
Defensive end Romeo Okwara, who led the team with 7.5 sacks last year, has posted just 0.5 sack so far this season. And the Lions’ biggest free-agent signing from the offseason, defensive end Trey Flowers, has recorded only a single sack in five contests.
Injuries combined with a slow start from many of their star defenders have limited Detroit’s ability to garner consistent pass rush from this unit. So it would come as no surprise if the Lions’ brass weren’t exploring the possibility of making a trade to assist in that effort.
It just so happens a premier pass rusher may be available. According to Jordan Schultz, an insider/analyst for ESPN, Atlanta Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley is on the trading block. This is a 27-year old pass rusher who was the NFL sack leader in 2016 with a whopping 15.5 sacks. That season Beasley was subsequently elected to his first and only Pro Bowl and received a first-team All-Pro nomination.
So why is Beasley reportedly on the trading block? His contract runs out in Atlanta at the end of this season and he’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2020. He’s also underperformed that past two seasons recording just 5.0 sacks in each of those two years.
Of course, the biggest stumbling block to completing any trade is price. Beasley is a former first-rounder (8th overall, 2015 draft) who didn’t quite live up to his billing in Atlanta. And he’s up for a new contract next year.
The Detroit Lions could certainly use the pass rush help. And for the right price, a change in scenery could resurrect a once-promising career of a former top draft pick who is still entering his prime.