Detroit Lions need to embrace Swift, Okwara, and future now

D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Lions
Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Lions core of players

The biggest issue facing the Detroit Lions if they do make the decision to move on from general manager Bob Quinn and the coaching staff headed by Matt Patricia is, “What are the building blocks that you have to build on if you were to consider the Detroit Lions coaching or general manager positions?”

Detroit Lions offense

At 32, it’s tough to sell quarterback Matthew Stafford as the long-term solution but he does provide you with a viable starter for the right now and that could buy time to develop another player there. With Dak Prescott being injured, some fans have suggested that the Lions ship Stafford home to Texas but both his salary cap hit and the Cowboys’ Andy Dalton already there make that an almost impossibility.

The offensive line has Frank Ragnow at the center position and Taylor Decker at left tackle to give you a solid start along your line. Crosby and Jackson can start and have potential, while Dahl is a decent guard when healthy.

Swift and Kerryon Johnson will both be there for at least one more year, with Swift being the potential star at running back. He does everything well, and could be a multi-purpose tool like Miles Sanders is in Philadelphia for the Eagles. If the offense is to provide balance to any signal-caller, Swift must fulfill his draft status and be the every-down back that they drafted him to be.

T.J. Hockenson looks to be developing into an elite tight end if they will use him more often like his Iowa buddy, All-Pro George Kittle, who is the best at their position in part because they use him in many ways.

Wide receiver Kenny Golladay is due for either a payday or to be traded away, depending upon how this last year of his deal plays out. We would not let him walk, especially when you can franchise tag him. Should they decide to trade him prior to the end of this season, we would expect them to fetch a couple of high picks, like a first-round pick and something else depending on which team he goes to, perhaps a third-round pick.

Choosing to ship him off or not re-sign him would hurt the offense’s ability to be up-and-running quickly for the next set of coaches and front office personnel.

After Golladay, Quintez Cephus is little more than a backup at this point, although he has some potential. Both Marvin Jones, Jr., and Danny Amendola are free agents after the season. Jamal Agnew is a good return man and can do some things due to his speed but he isn’t a developed player and like Jones and Amendola is a free agent.