As NFL free agency approaches, here are three interior defensive linemen that the Detroit Lions could look to add to jump-start an underachieving unit.
No position group was more disappointing for the Detroit Lions in 2019 than their defensive line, with many of the problems stemming from their interior defenders. This unit’s lackluster performance was a big reason why the team finished with just three wins this past year, and why major changes are in store this offseason.
The problems ran deep, as their projected top four players on the inside – Damon Harrison, A’Shawn Robinson, Mike Daniels, and Da’Shawn Hand– dealt with a combination of injuries, inconsistency and father time catching up to some of them.
Harrison was unable to make the same impact for the Lions that he did in 2018 after coming over in a midseason trade and helping turn Detroit into one of the league’s better run defenses in the second half of the season. Nagging injuries plagued him all year, and the hulking nose tackle is considering retirement.
Robinson was unable to build on a promising 2018 and just hasn’t made enough splashy plays in his four seasons as a Lion. Daniels struggled to stay healthy after being signing a rich one-year deal, appearing in just nine games and not having much of an effect when he did suit up. Both are upcoming free agents and seem questionable to return at best.
Hand has the most potential of these four and is likely still an important part of the Lions’ future. But he has struggled with several injuries, which have limited him to 16 games over two years. He’ll be back, but he can’t be counted on to be a full-time starter at this point.
So how can the Lions get this unit on track? They will undoubtedly add some talent to the inside of their front line in April’s draft, possibly with their first selection. Before that, however, it would be wise for them to take a look at this year’s free-agent options, starting with these three players…..