Detroit Lions roster depth: Are they better on defense?

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Levi Onwuzurike, Detroit Lions

Washington Huskies defensive lineman Levi Onwuzurike (95) (Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports)

The Detroit Lions are past the big offseason moves and draft. Is the defense ready to help the Lions make a move towards the top of the division?

Every Lion rebuild, retool, reboot, or whatever the new regime chooses to call it comes with some inevitable questions after free agency and the draft; mainly fans want to know, “Does the roster fit what the coaches say that they want to do?”

Today, we’ll answer half of that question by looking at the expectations brought by coordinator Aaron Glenn on defense. Let’s start with the Detroit Lions defensive history, which was 32nd in the NFL under former head coach Matt Patricia.

Aaron Glenn, a former NFL defensive back, is in charge of the team’s new 3-4 defense, or 3-man front. After previous stops in places like New Orleans and Cleveland, he is finally calling the shots in Detroit.

How the draft helped the Detroit Lions’ roster

Four of the Lions’ seven draft picks, including three of the top four, went to address the defensive side of the ball. You can access the team’s roster, here.

In the second round Levi Onwuzurike, a 3-4 defensive end from Washington, was taken, followed by another defensive lineman, Alim McNeil, a nose tackle from North Carolina State. Given the team’s stated goal of running a 3-man front, this makes a ton of sense.

The third defender selected was Ifeatu Melifonwu, a big cornerback from Syracuse, who can either play outside or potentially be the fifth defensive back, substituted for a traditional 3-4 linebacker.

All three positions are potentially very important for fortifying the basic lineup needed to run the odd man front.

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