Here are the Detroit Lions’ positional groups that likely feel the most pressure to perform in 2020.
This offseason, the Detroit Lions went about the business of improving their roster following a disappointing 3-12-1 campaign in 2019. Entering the team’s third season under head coach Matt Patrica, this appears to be a make-or-break year for Patricia, his coaching staff, and general manager Bob Quinn.
With that thought in mind, the Lions made several changes to their roster in the last few months. And the positional groups who experienced the most change will undoubtedly feel the pressure to perform this upcoming season. Here’s are our choices as the top three positional groups that will feel the most heat in 2020.
The Detroit Lions Offensive Line
Talk about a pressure cooker. There may not be a single positional unit in the entire NFL feeling more pressure that an offensive line whose franchise quarterback missed half of the previous season due to injury.
Couple that pressure to the fact Detroit parted ways with the entire right side of their O-line, moving on from right tackle Rick Wagner and right guard Graham Glasgow in the offseason, Their potential replacements? An unproven backup from the Philadelphia Eagles and a third-round rookie. With the offensive line so dependent on chemistry to have success, asking this unit to gel following a stunted offseason and with at least two new starters is a near impossible ask.
The Lions have completely revamped their cornerback position over the past two years. Detroit signed free agent Justin Coleman as a slot specialist last offseason and inked former Pro Bowler Desmond Trufant this year. Detroit then drafted Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah to replace three-time Pro Bowler Darius Slay, whom the team traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The trio of Okudah, Trufant, and Coleman represent the strongest combination of talent the Motor City has had at the cornerback position in years. How effective they will be, specially in their first season together, remains to be seen. But the huge investments made to this unit certainly adds to the pressure to perform at a high-level early.
Where are the Pass Rushers?
The Detroit Lions were among the worst teams in the NFL last season when it came to sacking the quarterback. And the Pride did little to address those issues this offseason, even parting ways with linebacker Devon Kennard, who co-lead the team in sacks in 2019. The Lions are undoubtedly hoping defensive end Trey Flowers, new linebacker Jamie Collins, and the Okwara brothers can lift this unit to new heights this year.