The Detroit Lions had a successful 2023 season, but as they look to take the next step toward championship contention there are some obvious improvements that have to be made.
While Detroit's offense was among the league's best, their defense struggled at times. The pass rush outside of Aidan Hutchinson, and to some degree Alim McNeill, was virtually non-existent.
On his list of one offseason move each NFC team must make, NFL.com's Kevin Patra outlined an obvious one for the Lions.
"The secondary has more holes than a block of Swiss cheese and is a key area to upgrade this offseason. But one way to help the back end is to bulk up the pass rush. QBs had all day to pick apart Detroit's secondary in 2023, forcing Aaron Glenn to bring extra rushers. For most of the season, it was Hutchinson or bust for the Lions' front four. Next Gen Stats credited Hutch with 83 QB pressures. The next-closest Lion was defensive tackle Alim McNeill with 30. The No. 2 defensive end was Charles Harris with 26. Given the amount of attention Hutchinson commands, generating so little production on the opposite side is deplorable."
The Lions should have plenty of avenues to find Hutchinson some help and boost that lackluster pass rush. There could be solid options in free agency, and the draft will provide some younger options too.
Detroit Lions will not compromise identity to add talent
While the Lions might need to add some major outside help to improve positions of obvious need, they aren't going to be compromising any of their values in order to do so. In his season-ending press conference, general manager Brad Holmes confirmed that.
"We have to get past just looking for the most talented player, "In my opinion, that's the prerequisite of evaluation." Holmes said.
"How do you find the right intangibles in a football player and that's what's made us who we are..."
This offseason, the Lions are sure to add someone (or multiple "someones") to help the pass rush. "Deplorable" is a weird word to describe last season's issues opposite Hutchinson, but the need is obvious.