Detroit Lions: Position by position breakdown of the 53-man roster

Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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Trey Flowers, Detroit Lions
Trey Flowers, Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

Defensive Line

  • DE: Trey Flowers #90
  • DE: Julian Okwara #99
  • DE: Da’Shawn Hand #93
  • DE: Romeo Okwara #95
  • DT: Danny Shelton #71
  • DT: John Penisini #91
  • DT: Nick Williams #97

The Lions pass rush has been a weak link of the team for years. For instance, the Lions tied for the second least amount of sacks last season with 28.

On the left edge of the line, there’s Da’Shawn Hand who only appeared in three games last season. Romeo Okwara is behind him on the depth chart who appeared in 14 games last season recording just 1.5 sacks with 28 tackles.

For the defensive tackle position on the left side, the Lions will have Nick Williams start who they signed in the offseason. While he appeared in all games with the Chicago Bears last season, he only started five of them. He recorded six sacks with 42 tackles (24 solo) along with two fumble recoveries and pass deflections.

Playing right tackle on the defensive side of the ball is Danny Shelton who is a former New England Patriots player. He recorded just three sacks with 61 tackles (30 solo). Behind him on the depth chart is rookie John Penisini who was taken in the sixth-round.

On the right edge is Trey Flowers who sacked the quarterback seven times last season with the younger of the Okwara brothers, Julian, as the backup who they drafted in the third round.

The Lions did little to address their defensive line this offseason and it will come back to hurt them. The lack of talent on the defensive line could very well be the reason why the Lions defense ends up struggling.