The Detroit Lions have had it rough for the last 1,000 years. At least it feels that way, right? Finally, the Lions seem to be gathering some forward momentum after hiring Dan Campbell as the new head coach. He aims to change the identity of this franchise after the Matt Patricia experiment failed. Campbell should be able to accomplish his goal, which is considered to be one of the Detroit Lions team needs.
On paper, Detroit’s roster isn’t all that bad. With exciting players like Kenny Golladay and D’Andre Swift, this organization has some key pieces to build around. Meanwhile, on the defense, Jeff Okudah and Desmond Trufant will be healthy next season, giving the Lions a much-needed boost in pass coverage.
Matthew Stafford was his regular self on the offense, but the team couldn’t get any momentum going. The offensive line allowed 42 sacks this year, which means bolstering the O-line is one of the Detroit Lions team needs.
Defensively, they allowed more touchdowns than anyone else and were continually giving up yards through the air and ground. Opposing offenses had field days against them every week. If the Lions want to have any success next year, they have to address the front seven.
The Lions enter the offseason with roughly $4 million in cap space. They will make some roster cuts and contract restructures, but they have to find ways to create more room. Rumors are swirling of possibly trading Stafford away, which may be an excellent decision for this franchise. Gaining as many drafts picks as possible should be considered one of the Detroit Lions team needs.
With that said, Detroit will have a busy offseason, as Dan Campbell will want to build a team that matches his vision.
Detroit Lions Team Needs Plus Predictions
Detroit Lions Team Needs: Free Agency
Re-sign Kenny Golladay
Kenny Golladay didn’t match the high expectations this year due to injury. He only played five games this season and ended the year with just 338 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Golladay was likely on pace for a solid season, as he also had a career-high 62.5% catch percentage.
Bringing back Golladay has to be at the top of the list of the Detroit Lions team needs. He’s one of the better wide receivers in the NFL and is an excellent target for any quarterback. If he hits the free-agent market, teams will be bidding for Golladay, and the Lions just cannot afford that.
Re-sign Romeo Okwara
Although the Lions defense struggled, Romeo Okwara had a career year. With 44 total tackles, ten sacks, and three forced fumbles, Okwara was a bright spot this season. For the Lions to build upon that, they should reward him with a long-term contract.
Finishing with nearly half of Detroit’s sacks, Okwara is someone this front office can build around. Once Okudah and Trufant come back, the Lions will have a solid trio on defense. Re-signing him also allows the Lions to use the draft to build upon what they already have.
Sign John Miller
After having a decent year for the Carolina Panthers, the Lions should highly consider signing John Miller to the squad. Detroit had a hard time protecting Stafford and couldn’t create holes for the run game. Signing Miller should be regarded as one of the Detroit Lions team needs.
Miller ended the year playing 14 games and played 88% of the offensive snaps. He was a reliable big man for the Panthers and could be a solid guard for the Lions. The offensive line would be improved and provide the Lions a chance to find a young prospect to continue restructuring the O-line.
Sign DaQuan Jones
After playing for the Tennessee Titans his entire career, DaQuan Jones hits the free-agent market as one of the more underrated defensive linemen in the league. This year, Jones played a crucial role in stopping the run, totaling 49 tackles, two sacks, and one forced fumble.
He’s not the biggest name in the free-agent pool, but Jones can still provide some solid play for at least two more years. He would also serve as a great compliment to Okwara, so signing Jones is considered one of the Detroit Lions team needs.
Sign a Veteran QB
This move only makes sense for the Detroit Lions team needs if the trade rumors come to fruition. Stafford is still a solid QB, and the Lions front office could still receive some high-value draft picks for him. If that were the case, Detroit should acquire a veteran QB to play until a rookie prospect is ready to take the reigns.
Detroit Lions Team Needs: Trades
Trade Matthew Stafford
Stafford is right in the middle of his prime and still has two or three years left of high-level play. However, this Lions team is in rebuild mode, and keeping him might not match what Campbell has planned these next few years and does not necessarily help the Detroit Lions team needs.
Trading him now likely gives the Lions the best chance of a successful rebuild. With plenty of talented teams searching for a QB this offseason, Detroit should be receiving plenty of offers for the 12-year vet.
Detroit should be asking for a first-rounder at the very minimum, and there are a few teams that may be willing to make that offer. The Denver Broncos seem to be a QB away from becoming a contender, the New Orleans Saints are looking for Drew Brees replacement, and the Indianapolis Colts would thrive with Stafford under center. Expect to hear a lot of buzz in the Detroit Lions rumor mill.
Detroit Lions Team Needs: NFL Draft
With the seventh pick overall in the upcoming draft, the Lions have an excellent opportunity to find a solid player for the team to build around. The front office can go in any direction to make this roster, but solidifying the defense should be at the top of the list of Detroit Lions team needs.
Draft Micah Parsons Seventh Overall
The Lions can cast a wide net within the first two rounds, but they should immediately focus on the ball’s defensive side. Micah Parsons would be a solid choice for Detroit, as he’s the best inside linebacker in the draft. He’d be an excellent match for this team, as he’s a phenomenal tackler and pass defender.
Parsons opted out of the 2020 season, but he’s such a beast, it doesn’t matter. In 2019 Parson wound up with 109 total tackles, four forced fumbles, and five sacks. He would be an immediate upgrade for the Lions LB group. Imagine a defense with Parsons, Okwara, Okudah, and Trufant? They’ll just need some chemistry, and they’ll be ready to go.
Draft a QB Prospect
If the Lions do trade Stafford away, they’ll need to find his replacement sooner rather than later. Luckily for them, this class is chock-full of solid QBs. Whether they get a late first-rounder or an additional second-round pick, Detroit should be able to draft a solid prospect this year.
Between Golladay and Swift, any QB would welcome the opportunity to play for the Lions. It’ll be interesting to see what Detroit does in the draft this year, but some QBs to keep an eye on are Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, and Mac Jones.
Draft an Offensive Lineman
The Detroit Lions offensive line was downright awful. If they can, signing a decent veteran in free agency will work wonders for this organization. Utilizing the draft to take an offensive lineman within the first three rounds could be exactly what this Detroit Lions team needs.
Look for Detroit to improve the trenches in the draft this year. They’ll be looking for versatile players that can bounce around the offensive line. A few guys to pay attention to are Jackson Carman, Alex Leatherwood, and Josh Myers.
Thanks for reading my article on the Detroit Lions team needs!
Check out the OTH forums.
Main Image Credit: