Here’s why I believe the Detroit Lions will be buyers, not sellers at the trade deadline
The NFL trade deadline is fast approaching as it occurs on Tuesday, Nov. 3. The deadline will be overshadowed by the United States Presidential elections but it’s an important day across the league for all teams regardless, including the Detroit Lions.
With one game left before the deadline, the Lions hover at .500 with a 3-3 record. Regardless of the outcome of their upcoming game against the 4-2 Indianapolis Colts this Sunday, Detroit should look to bolster their roster and be buyers at the trade deadline as they look to make the playoffs.
The reason for the Lions being buyers at the deadline is simple: The job security of head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn. At the conclusion of a dismal 2019 season, ownership made their expectations clear for 2020.
Detroit needed to be a playoff contender and play meaningful games in December. What they were indirectly stating was that if the Lions didn’t win in 2020, both Patricia and Quinn could be gone.
As the Lions are currently structured, they don’t seem to need any help on the offensive front. But they are in dire need of assistance defensively.
They rank in the bottom half in regards to how many passing, rushing and receiving yards they give up. Of all those, they struggle to defend the run as they rank 26th in rushing yards per game (131.8) and 20th in total rushing yards (791).
They could particularly use some help on the defensive line. They rank 28th in sacks with only 8.0 sacks so far on the season.
Also, in the red zone, they tend to allow the opposing team to score too often. They’ve allowed opponents to be in the red zone a total of 25 times allowing them to score on 17 of those tries (68%).
Perhaps, they could also use someone in the secondary, specifically a cornerback. Cornerback Jeff Okudah has struggled in his rookie year allowing opposing receivers to catch the ball at a 68.6% clip and Desmond Trufant has only appeared in two games this season missing time due to injuries.
The Lions would be best positioned to acquire players on expiring contracts as they wouldn’t have to sacrifice as much due to rental status. They could perhaps seek to acquire a player with term like New York Jets defensive end Quinnen Williams whose asking price is reportedly more than a second-round pick. Although this isn’t something I think the Lions should do as there’s no guarantee they’d make the playoffs.