The Detroit Lions need a talent upgrade at tight end, and these five free agents should be on their radar.
Despite trading T.J. Hockenson at the the deadline, the Detroit Lions set the single-season franchise record for touchdowns from the tight end position in 2022 (12). There were some spike games in there though (see Shane Zylstra’s three-touchdown game in Week 16), and overall the Lions can and should seek a talent upgrade at the position this offseason.
"No disrespect to Brock Wright or Shane Zylstra, but both are exclusive rights free agents and also not exactly overly proven commodities. Overall, nobody has fewer 2023 dollars devoted to the position. The team needs to address the T.J. Hockenson loss and seemingly has enough cap room to do so. Credit to the league’s reigning fifth-ranked scoring offense for staying productive without Hockenson, but at a minimum, work needs to be done,”"
James Mitchell, a fifth-round pick in 2022, is a promising young player. But imagine where the Lions offense could go with a better, more proven TE1. As they look to maintain last season’s success in 2023, some adjustments should be made and having more talent around is never bad.
The Lions will not likely be dabbling in the most expensive end of the free agent tight end pool, but these five should be on their radar as the opening of the legal negotiating window and the new league year approaches.