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Lions Offseason Needs

Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift (32) carries the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

Lions Offseason Needs NFL 2022: Free Agency And Draft Preview

Lions Offseason Needs
Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift (32) carries the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

Lions Offseason Needs NFL 2022: Free Agency And Draft Preview

As far as the Lions offseason needs, everything could be a legitimate answer. However, D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson are two of the brightest spots on this team. Despite what I said about T.J. before the season, he has impressed on an unimpressive Lions squad. The Lion’s task is so simple but so difficult at the same time: get talent. There’s just no way around it. This team needs more talent, and anyone they can draft and is willing to sign there that is talented is a step in the right direction. 

The biggest Lions offseason needs though seem to be WR, Guard, and defense. When Jared Goff is considered okay at the moment on your roster, you have a problem. However, the bigger problems are in these positions. Goff, as bad as he is, has no one to throw to, other than TJ Hockenson. I could name 3 irrelevant players the Lions have a WR to impress any casual fan. Of course, lineman help would help Swift and Jared Goff in the backfield. But, the quickest way for the Lions to start competing would be to start hammering the defense.

Lions Free Agency

For free agency, there’s close to $40 million in cap space to address the Lions offseason needs. Not a bad starting place for them at all.  In a rebuilding process, they can always trade expensive Jared Goff to shed more cap for free agency. With this cap space, there are plenty of defensive linemen and secondary to go around in free agency. The Lions have 4 expiring contracts at safety (2 at CB) and 5 expiring contracts at LB. The secondary should be their focal point. The WR market in free agency is top-heavy and I’m not sure you’re convincing a lot of big-name players to go to the lovely city of Detroit. There’s also not a lot of premier guards on the market. Defensive linemen and secondary has to be the move going into free agency. With a rich market, they should be able to find some players they can throw money at to go to Detroit. They will have to find their bigger holes in the draft.

Lions Draft

Speaking of the draft, the Lions virtually have 3 1st round picks this year (2, projected 26, 33. 34 is close enough to a 1st). They have to hit on all of these. With the 1st pick of the draft, they have to go with whoever they think is the most talented player in the draft. There’s no other way around it. For them, that should be one of the pair of top DEs in the draft: Kayvon Thibodeaux or Aidan Hutchinson. Kayvon has been the projected 1st overall pick for a while now, but Hutchinson has impressed for Michigan this season to where he is pressuring that claim. I can see the Lions keeping Hutchinson in-state with him being a Michigan Alum. But, Kayvon Thibodeaux is the correct pick here if he’s available.

At 26, depending on how the draft falls, the Lions will probably be looking at WR, LB, or someone in the secondary here. I don’t think there’s any guard talent that is worth a 1st rounder at this point. Some LBs like Nakobe Dean, Devin Lloyd, or maybe Christian Harris would be bad at this point. There is plenty of WR talent in this draft and they should grab some of the best of it while they can. Depending on how it falls, Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, Jameson Wilson, Treylon Burks,  or Drake London might be available here. The Lions WR room is filled with scrubs so getting a premier WR would at least give the Lions a go-to WR. There is a good chance the Lions trade down to fill as many holes as they can.

At 34, the Lions should be looking at someone in the secondary, guard, or pick a WR here, if they didn’t at 24. This would also be a good spot for them to move down if the price is right. Virtually 3 first-rounders on defense would not be the worst thing in the world for the Lions. The Lions do have Swift and TJ Hockenson, which isn’t a lot, but can carry an offense for a bad team right now. That’s why I push for a secondary player here. I think Derek Stingley Jr., Andrew Booth Jr., and Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner are all off the board here. Who knows about the other CB talent though? Kalir Elam, Roger McCreary, Trent McDuffie, Derion Kendrick might all be available here. By drafting 3 defensive players on all different levels of the defense, you’re adding talent to a defense that desperately needs it. Sure, you’re not addressing the line or WR. But there’s virtually no 1st round talent at guard other than Kenyon Green. WR has a lot of depth so they can wait to address it.

The Lions have 65 and 97 in the draft as well. After addressing the defense with the 1st 3 picks, the Lions should go offense here at either guard or WR. The Lions might luck out with Zion Johnson, Sean Rhyan, Jamaree Slayer, Ed Ingram, or Lecitus Smith here at guard. I wouldn’t might that for them. I wouldn’t have minded John Metchie III here if he didn’t get injured. However, that can’t be your 1st WR off the board with him not being able to play the 2022 season virtually. The list of WRs I listed earlier should virtually be gone at this point, if somehow one of them slipped THIS far. That’s the pick for them. But realistically, we might see David Bell, Jahan Dotson, Calvin Austin III, George Pickens, and Justyn Ross

The Lions offseason needs is a long list and it won’t be fixed in one off-season, however, taking steps in the right direction is vital for a rebuilding franchise (especially when you have been doing it for so long). This plan of action seems to be the best for the Lions right now. The Lions offseason needs can be explained as such: fill in the biggest holes, do your best, rinse, repeat. The Lions still have a long way to go though. No matter how much I like Dan Campbell, this is just not a winning franchise right now. Maybe Dan Campbell can take them in a few years, the Lions players play hard for him. But, a lot of things have to go right for the Lions to contend for the NFC North anytime soon. Sorry guys, but be patient.

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