5 edge rushers the Detroit Lions should pursue in free agency

The Detroit Lions need an edge rusher to pair with Aidan Hutchinson, and these 5 free agents could be on their radar.

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In a broad sense, it's well-known that the Detroit Lions' pass rush was sorely lacking at times last season. Sacks eventually came in bunches for Aidan Hutchinson (11.5 sacks), but defensive tackle Alim McNeill (five sacks) was the only other player who had more than three sacks.

Narrowing to non-Hutchinson edge rushers, Charles Harris, Romeo Okwara et al didn't get it done, and James Houston missed most of the season due to a fractured ankle in Week 2. Harris and Okwara are free agents and sure to be gone with little or no effort to keep them.

So if nothing else, the Lions' edge rusher group is set for welcome turnover and multiple new pieces. A dip (or two) into free agency as well as a draft pick could very well happen. Or maybe it'll be a big move in free agency, then a draft pick.

Across the spectrum of options, the Lions should pursue these five free agent edge rushers when the new league year starts next week.

5 free agent edge rushers Detroit Lions could pursue

5. Denico Autry

Yes, Autry will turn 34 in July. But he's also coming off a strong 2023 season with the Tennessee Titans, where he had a career-high 11.5 sacks with 50 total tackles (also a career-high) and 12 tackles for loss. He has at least 7.5 sacks in four straight seasons.

Autry can line up inside or out on the edge and be a boost to the Lions' pass rush in any alignment. He may also come with an endorsement as a player and veteran leader from Terrell Willams, the new Lions' defensive line coach who had Autry during his entire three-season run in Tennessee.