The Detroit Lions made some notable signings in free agency, but one has been tabbed as a potential loser from the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Detroit Lions, sensing it’s quite possibly their time to take the NFC North, went into an aggressive mode in free agency. The secondary was refurbished (Cameron Sutton, Emmanuel Moseley, C.J. Gardner-Johnson), and the lead running back spot was upgraded with David Montgomery replacing Jamaal Williams.
Now the Lions have obviously shifted toward the draft, with four of the top-55 overall picks to add even more talent to a good roster. The depth chart at certain spots will be bolstered, and in some spots shifted around, based on what’s done with those four picks in the first two rounds of the draft.
The Lions coaching staff fosters and embraces competition. So while it’s easy to tab starters it’s still a meritocracy and jobs will be earned, not blindly given.
Notable Detroit Lions free agent signing tabbed as possible draft loser
Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus has made a list of 20 players with the most to gain or lose from the 2023 NFL Draft. But the tone of each player’s blurb leans toward what they have to lose, in terms of opportunity to earn a role or maintain a grip on a role.
Down in the group of defensive backs, a Lions’ free agent signing made the cut.
"CB EMMANUEL MOSELEY, DETROIT LIONSIn a weird way, the trade of former No. 3 overall pick cornerback Jeff Okudah from the Detroit Lions to the Atlanta Falcons has us viewing the No. 2 cornerback job in Detroit as more under threat than before. There are two elite prospects in Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez and Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon who would make a ton of sense for Detroit at No. 6 overall, and they would likely pose more of a threat to Moseley’s starting job than Okudah ever was going to.Moseley’s one-year deal signed this offseason was for a very respectable $6 million, and before his ACL injury early in 2022 he looked like an ascending player, but Gonzalez and Witherspoon may simply be too good to pass up."
The idea that the Lions trading Jeff Okudah moves the needle at No. 6 overall is a reach. It’s fair to assume taking a cornerback there was on the radar before the trade, and the move adds no urgency. Cornerback is a future need spot, with only two currently under contract beyond 2023.
Moseley is working his way back from a torn ACL he suffered playing for the 49ers last October. His status for the start of training camp will be worth watching, and Week 1 will be 11 months out from his injury.
On the idea of taking the “best player available”, the Lions may take a cornerback at No. 6 or No. 18 overall. So Moseley does have something to lose as an easily anointed starter, leaving aside his health, and the potental addition in the draft of someone who could usurp him.