5 edge rusher options for Detroit Lions as Marcus Davenport insurance

Marcus Davenport carries clear durability concerns, so the Lions could add one of these edge rushers as insurance against that risk.
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In search of edge rusher help to go with Aidan Hutchinson, the Detroit Lions took a one-year flier on Marcus Davenport in free agency. The 2018 first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints has some familiarity with the Lions' coaching staff (Dan Campbell and Aaron Glenn), and if he's going to rebound after a couple down years Detroit looks like the ideal spot.

Davenport played just four games for the Minnesota Vikings last year, and he was sidelined after Week 6 with an ankle injury. The severity of the injury, and even more so his desire to return to action, was openly questioned by a Minnesota reporter during last season. His jersey number, '0', matched his impact.

Sports Illustrated NFL insider Albert Breer recently pointed to the Lions adding an edge rusher to hedge against Davenport's injury history. Colton Pouncy of The Athletic also recently expressed doubt about Davenport's ability to stay healthy, while noting the risk attached to assuming he will.

Maybe CFL star Mathieu Betts wins a roster spot and makes a smooth transition to the NFL. Maybe James Houston takes a notable step after an injury wrecked his 2023 season. But it's possible the Lions start to think about adding a proven veteran commodity as insurance against Davenport's durability concerns.

The options are of course not all that robust here in early July, but there are some notable names who are available as free agents or could be available via trade.

With that in mind, the Lions could look to bring in one of these five edge rushers if they have concerns about Davenport's ability to stay on the field.

5 edge rushers the Lions could bring in as insurance against Marcus Davenport's durability concerns

5. Carl Lawson, Free Agent

After a solidly productive 2022 season for the New York Jets (seven sacks), where he played all 17 games, Lawson played in just six games for them last season. He was often a healthy scratch, which made trade rumors surface. Over the games he did play he barely topped 100 snaps (101), and in the middle of the season he lamented his lack of action without driving controversy.

"I’ve always wanted to help the Jets win:, Lawson said. "but at the end of the day I do want to be a football player. I do wanna produce. I do wanna help because I’m a football player not a cheerleader."

Lawson did miss the entire 2021 season with a torn Achilles, but he seemingly put any lingering concern about any ramifications of that injury to bed right away in 2022. Now he's a little further removed from that injury.

If we know anything at this point, it's that being devalued by the Jets (see Bryce Huff, John Franklin-Myers this offseason) is not a referendum on a player. In fact, other teams can surely find value and impact where the Jets did not see it.

Lawson may have been impacted by a deep edge rusher market in free agency this offseason, and someone is likely to give him a shot in training camp. That team could wind up being the Lions.