The glue that will hold the secondary together
Many defensive players were shown the door this offseason and several more were brought in to create a new attitude. Players like nose-tackle Danny Shelton and linebacker Jamie Collins who had career years in New England as part of their top-ranked defense.
With the offseason trade of cornerback Darius Slay to Philadelphia, that pretty much sealed Jeff Okudah being the Lions top pick in the draft. Combined with the signing of Desmond Trufant, they would appear to be the new starting duo on the outside for Detroit.
But perhaps the most underrated acquisition the Lions made was the trade for safety Duron Harmon. Most of us have been wondering if all the moves to bring in ex-Patriots will ever pan out, but this gives the Detroit secondary what they have been lacking since Diggs left for Seattle last year; leadership.
Harmon was part of the three-man rotation at safety in New England, but his calling card was always being in the right spot at the right time and being very opportunistic.
Along with the needed leadership, those are two other qualities that are very welcome as well.
Harmon will be the glue that will hold the secondary together. He is very well respected among his new teammates and won’t shy away from being the on-field coach who keeps the secondary on the same page while mentoring young Jeff Okudah through the landmines of being a rookie in the NFL.
There were many fans that I know who scratched their heads at the Duron Harmon acquisition, but it was a vital move to make. The importance of having a leader in the secondary who will be looked up to by his teammates and also supports Matt Patricia and his methods is the type of crucial piece needed to play better on the field and make a better locker room as well.
The addition of Harmon should make a big difference this season. How far these Lions go will mostly depend on how improved the defense is this year. The secondary has a chance to make some plays and hold their ground. Now all that’s left is for the front seven to do their job to bring it all together.