Building in the trenches will pay off in the long run
The main point of emphasis for the Lions this offseason has been in the trenches. After using their first three picks in the draft on an immensely talented offensive lineman and two talented defensive linemen, then trading for Rams standout Michael Brockers to become even deeper in the defensive trenches, suddenly the line of scrimmage is becoming a strength for these Motor City cats.
Considering that the other additions this offseason were mostly depth fillers and quarterback Jared Goff who they acquired as part of the Matthew Stafford trade, there wasn’t a whole lot of leeway or available cap space to do much more.
So the question becomes this; would the Lions have been better off sacrificing the foundation in the trenches they built this offseason in order to more adequately stock up on receivers?
This is a question that deserves careful consideration.
Would the Lions be better off with the question marks being on the right side of the offensive line and less talent on a defensive line that was part of a porous and pathetic defense last season than the current questions at receiver?
This sacrifice would also be felt in the rushing attack. Both the Lions’ ability to run the ball and to stop opponents from gaining yards on the ground.
Would a stronger receiving corps at the expense of the offensive and defensive lines equal more wins this fall? The truth is that I don’t believe it would. Everything all comes back to the one point we covered earlier, there is only so much that can be done in one offseason.
Brad Holmes made the choice to solidify the line play on both sides of the ball. Now we can say that perhaps Holmes might have been able to get a more reliable receiver in free agency or a trade, but one way or another this is still year one of a rebuild.
This coming season, one way or another, was destined to be disappointing in the win-loss column. Regardless of what positions were addressed with the Lions limited resources this offseason. But building in the trenches is building a team that can exert their will upon opponents.
It will take more time before Brad Holmes can turn this roster into a contender, but this has been a solid start. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will the Detroit Lions. Expect more attention to the receiving corps next year, but becoming good enough for Dan Campbell’s team to exert their will in the trenches will pay off in the long run.