The Detroit Lions are going a different direction at defensive coordinator in 2020. Lets explore a few options who could be wearing Honolulu Blue next year.
The Detroit Lions are moving on from defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni after two years with an underachieving defense. After two years ranking near the bottom half of the league in almost every category it’s time to move on and try to find someone who can mesh with head coach Matt Patricia and form a defense that can improve on every level.
In the most recent year the Lions regressed in almost every defensive category. They were 31st in total defense in 2019, around the 20th best team in rushing defense, and among the bottom three teams in passing defense.
With the yards and points allowed by the defense, combined with the lack of takeaways, the defense was maybe the biggest reason, only behind losing quarterback Matthew Stafford for over half the season, the 2019 season was a massive failure.
There is a good amount of raw talent on this defense. There are holes that absolutely need to be filled on that side of the ball, but early picks in the 2020 NFL draft and a respectable amount of money available to spend in free agency could turn things around in a heartbeat with the right coach in place.
The defense has cornerstone pieces along multiple levels of the defense. The defensive line has defensive end Trey Flowers who provides a strong edge setter against the run and a guy who, while may not get home every play, pressures the opposing quarterback at a very nice rate.
The secondary, despite being one of the worst in the league, actually has two younger players on which to build upon. Cornerback Darius Slay is already one of the top corners in the league and behind him is up and coming superstar safety Tracy Walker.
Walker was impressive his rookie season but really turned things up in his second year. With another year of similar development the soon to be third year safety could cement himself as a top ten safety in the league.
And even though he has not lived up to the expectations from when he was drafted, middle linebacker Jarrad Davis still has raw talent that can be tapped into. Then there is also second round linebacker Jahlani Tavai who had a promising rookie season.
If the Lions hire the right guy then they could really turn the defense around with the right additions in free agency and the draft. There are ample coaches out there who could get the job, but lets take a look at three top guys (and a few dark horses) I’d love to see wearing the blue and silver this upcoming season.