The Detroit Lions roster could still make major upgrades via late free agency.
Examining the current roster for the Detroit Lions, there are several positions that inspire a lot of confidence (wide receivers) or at least hope in their potential (running backs/tight ends). There are other areas where the talent level doesn’t jump out at you, but with so many people in the mix that any further transactions don’t seem likely for now (linebackers/offensive line).
The bottom tier contains position groups that still feel incomplete, or at the very least have some major question marks about whether they’ll be able to pull their weight in the upcoming season.
- Defensive line: The team wasn’t terrible against the run, but lack of a pass rush was generally regarded as the main reason for ranking 31st in total defense a year ago. Many fans were crossing their fingers to land Chase Young in the draft, but he was off the board one spot before the Lions’ turn to pick.
- Backup quarterback: After a total meltdown in the absence of Matthew Stafford for the second half of last year, the Lions made Chase Daniel the 7th highest paid quarterback from this year’s crop of free agents. So what’s the issue? Daniel has won only two games as a starter in his ten year NFL career to date.
- Cornerback: You can look at the glass as half-empty or all the way empty: young, rebuilt and with some talent… or already the worst pass defense in the league, and now without their top cornerback of the last decade.
- Jeff Okudah will have high expectations immediately. Veteran Desmond Trufant joins the mix as Darius Slay’s presumed replacement, Amani Oruwariye is on the radar as a potential breakout season candidate, and streaky slot corner Justin Coleman rounds out the group.
- Best case scenario, there will still be some growing pains, so another established pro could only help.
Three unsigned free agents who make sense for the Detroit Lions
From strictly a personnel standpoint, the Lions still could have a lot to gain by scouring the market for a few more upgrades. Even after the major wave of free agency in March, there are several players who could help close the perceived talent gap between Detroit and their NFC North competitors.
I’m not starting any rumors or saying any of these guys are close to signing; rather, just weighing in on how they could be great fits based on the team’s remaining roster needs headed into 2020.