Detroit Lions' place in defense ranking puts some heat on one obvious person

After some offseason additions, the Detroit Lions' defense has been given a lofty spot in a post-draft ranking.
David Rodriguez Munoz / USA TODAY

The Detroit Lions had the second-best run defense in the NFL last season, but other areas were lacking at times. If they hope to take the next step in 2024, something had to be done this offseason.

We know where the big deficiencies were. The Lions were 27th in the league in pass defense last year, and they were in the bottom half of the league in sacks (41). That second number does not correlate well with having had the best pressure rate in the league (28.2 percent).

The Lions aggressively addressed their need at cornerback this offseason, trading for Carlton Davis and signing Amik Robertson before using their first two draft picks on Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw. Another addition to the edge rusher mix might be nice, and a lack of safety depth is still a thing. But overall the defense looks to be pretty well improved after free agency and the draft as the Lions eye taking the next step to the Super Bowl after falling just short last year.

Lions' defense placement in defensive ranking puts a little heat on one person

Bleacher Report's Scouting Department ranked NFL defenses for this year coming off the draft, from 32 down to 1. Most years in a similar format anywhere, the Lions would be found very early in a scroll of the list. Not this year, at least in Bleacher Report's ranking on the heels of the draft and the brunt of free agency.

The Lions come in 10th in the ranking after the additions they've made on defense. The talent level is clearly better on paper, and Bleacher Report put a little sneaky heat on the man charged with bringing it all together.

"Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn should feel the pressure coming into 2024. If the Lions secondary can fall into place, they are a Super Bowl contender. It will be up to him to have unit playing well from the jump."
"There are a lot of new pieces to break in, but they are also more talented on paper. If the Lions secondary can even get to league average with Aidan Hutchinson, Alim McNeill and Davenport getting after the quarterback they will be a strong defense."

Unless the Lions' defense somehow gets worse this coming season, Glenn is no danger of being fired. His candidacy for head coaching jobs stands until he gets that opportunity, and that will be how he leaves Dan Campbell's staff.

But it'd be foolish to overlook the task Glenn has ahead of him to maximize the talent he has at his disposal, as well as the pressure that's on him to get it done (and justify this ranking).


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