What if the Detroit Lions are better than expected?

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Breshad Perriman, Detroit Lions

Breshad Perriman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)

The Detroit Lions are rebuilding their roster. Yet there is some growing optimism that maybe these Motor City cats won’t be as bad as expected next season. How could that affect the rebuild?

General manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell are piecing together their roster. This is really the beginning stages of molding the Detroit Lions into their vision.

Last Wednesday the new league year began and what was expected to be a quiet free agency period for the Lions was just a little noisier than foreseen. Holmes was busy matching most of the cuts they were making with new blood. But not all of it was big names.

Let’s be honest, the Lions can’t really afford any big names. However, with plenty of holes to fill Brad Holmes needs players that are fairly cost-effective and meet the vision of Dan Campbell’s staff.

Former Saints tight end Josh Hill was an early signee. He will meet the gritty standard Campbell has as a blocker. Receiver Tyrell Williams does have some speed, but outside of his second year in the league when he had 69 catches for 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns, his career has been pretty pedestrian.

The commitment to harass opposing quarterbacks is there. After re-signing Romeo Okwara, the Lions then signed edge-rusher Charles Harris. The former first-round pick has been disappointing so far, but he did have a career-high three sacks last season, and perhaps Holmes sees potential in how he can fit into Aaron Glen’s defense.

Meanwhile, the trade that brought defensive lineman Michael Brockers to Detroit from the Rams should be a welcome sight for Glen.

Holmes did sign two former Packers. Quarterback Tim Boyle hasn’t had an opportunity to showcase anything so far in his young career, but running back Jamaal Williams will give Detroit a hard running, versatile back to compliment D’Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson.

Then there is Breshad Perriman, whose Father was a very good receiver for the Lions back in the 1990s. Perriman was a disappointment early in his career but is coming off two encouraging seasons, both of which were one-year stops in Tampa Bay and with the Jets respectively.

The common theme these players have is that most of them are still fairly young and can contribute for at least a couple of seasons if not develop into pieces of Dan Campbell’s long-term plans. However, the biggest piece of the puzzle for next season will be lined up under center.

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