Much was made about the Detroit Lions' edge rusher/defensive line depth this offseason. It was well-warranted, and even with recent injuries to Josh Paschal and James Houston it's still somewhat the case with any eye on who remains stepping up.
Through two games this season, the Lions have one sack and it's from linebacker Alex Anzalone. A lack of pressure on Geno Smith was noticeable in the Week 2 loss to the Seahawks, and Houston's absence for at least the next 6-8 weeks hurts. There's a strong argument that Houston is the team's best pure pass rusher.
According to Pro Football Focus, Aidan Hutchinson leads the NFL with 13 quarterback pressures through two games. Charles Harris (seven) is the only other Lion with more than three. The Lions are 30th in ESPN's Pass Rush Win Rate through Week 2. Simply put, even with a possible nod to what defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn isn't doing to try to generate pass rush, that's not good enough.
Head coach Dan Campbell dove into some of the problems with the pass rush on Monday (h/t to Pride of Detroit).
"I felt like just from transition into rush, some of this play (action)-pass, now we’re from reading the run into pass. Man, we’ve got to transition much quicker,” Campbell said. “Our urgency has to go up there and our violence has to go up to shed those blockers. That’ll go a long way.” A guy’s got a one-on-one, he’s got to win,” Campbell said. “We’re getting chipped on this side, you may be getting chipped, you’re getting doubled, a center, guard, this guy’s got to win and we’re not winning our one-on-ones.”
Whether the answer to those pass rush problems will come internally is a big question. But it has to change, and quickly. A free agent signing is possible, but a trade for a bigger difference maker could become something Brad Holmes has to consider.
Here are three pass rushers the Lions could trade for to help their currently lackluster pass rush.