Detroit Lions: 3 best decisions of the 2020 offseason

D'Andre Swift, Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
D'Andre Swift, Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Here are the three best moves made by the Detroit Lions this offseason

Following another disappointing year that saw the Detroit Lions stuck firmly in the basement of the NFC North division, the Pride needed to make some key offseason decisions for 2020. And while their biggest splash may have come in the draft, the Lions have made some other choices that figure to move the needle this upcoming season.

With that in mind, here are the three offseason decisions made by the Lions that we believe will ultimately prove to be their best for 2020.

Drafting D’Andre Swift

The troubling injury history of starting running back Kerryon Johnson over his first two seasons in the Motor City forced the Lions to find a potential replacement who could be called upon as a workhorse if needed. Detroit found themselves arguably the best running back in the entire draft class with the selection of Georgia’s D’Andre Swift in the second round.

Swift’s impact on the Lions’ offense both as a primary runner and receiver out of the backfield might finally propel Detroit out of the dreary divisional basement in 2020. The dynamic duo of Johnson and Swift could emerge as one of the league’s best one-two punches. If so, that would do wonders for veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford coming off an injury-shortened season.

Trading for Duron Harmon

Of all the additions the Lions made this offseason, other than the drafting of first-round cornerback Jeff Okudah, the trade made for New England Patriots’ safety Duron Harmon could be the most impactful.

After the confusing trade of Quandre Diggs to the Seattle Seahawks last season, rookie safety Will Harris struggled to replace him. And with Detroit not retaining longtime veteran Tavon Wilson this offseason, the Lions need to shore up the position.

Trading away a fifth-round selection for Harmon and a seventh rounder could be a steal. Especially if Harmon inherits the starting role alongside Tracy Walker and mentors Harris, a 2019 third-round pick, in the ways of head coach Matt Patricia’s defensive scheme.

Will the Detroit Lions second guess this decision? We don’t believe so

Trading away Darius Slay

There’s an argument to be had that the Lions should have made Darius Slay the highest paid cornerback in the NFL. After all, the 29-year old has been a defensive stalwart for Detroit for years and wanted to remain in the Motor City.

Yet, the Lions made the decision to trade Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles for a third and a fifth-round draft picks. And while the compensation may have been underwhelming, the massive three-year, $50 million extension Philly paid the seven-year veteran also played a part.

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In the end, the trading away of Darius Slay opened the door for the addition of free agent cornerback Desmond Trufant and first-round rookie Jeff Okudah. Along with Justin Coleman, this will likely be the most compete cornerback unit the Detroit Lions have fielded in years.