Lions

Jason Bray’s Lions wishlist

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Cliff Avril

With the Super Bowl over, the rosters thawed and the combine just right around the corner the needs for the Lions this offseason continue to take shape. And for Detroit there isn’t any position that doesn’t need improvement outside quarterback and defensive tackle. So whether you’re in the camp that wants a cornerback, safety, defensive end, offensive lineman, or linebacker it doesn’t matter you’re all right.

Ranking the Lions’ need by position

  1. Defensive end: KVB is gone and Avril isn’t worth the money he will command.
  2. Safety: The Lions haven’t had a legitimate safety since Ron Rice. Meanwhile Louis Delmas has shown promise but is never healthy.
  3. Linebacker: Right now the Lions have essentially three average players that don’t make each other better. The problem here is there is no help via free agency and the Lions will have to draft a starter and re-sign either Levy or Durant. My pick is Durant.
  4. Cornerback: I know, I know, why don’t I have the corner position ranked higher as the Lions’ secondary gets torched right? Well here’s why, the Lions lack a ball hawk at safety and they can’t get pressure on quarterbacks because they don’t collapse the pocket. Plus Detroit drafted Bentley, Green, and Greenwood all last year. Bentley and Green both looked like NFL caliber players but got hurt. Meanwhile Chris Houston will be Detroit’s top priority in terms of re-signing to a new contract.
  5. Offensive line: This is without doubt a spot Detroit needs help in and they’ve already started addressing some of the problem areas. First they released Stephen Peterman and restructured the contract of center Dominic Raiola who previously was receiving top center money. Furthermore Gosder Cherulis is a false start waiting to happen which no wonder why the Lions can’t get a 3rd and one first down on the ground. Rob Sims and Jeff Backus on the left side is enough but being the strong suit of the line isn’t anything to brag about. Cherilus will be allowed to seek a new employer via free agency and Backus is still a tossup in terms of if he will return or retire.

Other areas of need

  • Wide receiver: It seems crazy to be saying this but with Titus Young gone and Broyles coming off another knee injury, the Lions still need a legitimate player opposite of Calvin.
  • Running back: The Lions need a speed option, something they currently do not have on the ground.
  • Kicker and Punter: Does Hanson comeback? Detroit would like a little more leg for kickoffs, but Hanson’s accuracy can’t be denied. At punter Nick Harris has to go. Detroit was bad on net average and balls inside the 20 yard line. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the Lions use one of their extra picks in the seventh round to draft a big leg to take over at the punting position next season.

Free agent’s the Lions should target

  • Michael Johnson – DE (Cincinnati).
  • Ed Reed – S (Baltimore) I doubt he’ll be available for Detroit.
  • Brent Grimes – CB (Atlanta)

Who the Lions should stay away from

  • Reggie Bush – RB (Miami)
  • Dwayne Bowe – WR (Kansas City)
  • Mike Wallace – WR (Pittsburgh)
  • Osi Umenyiora – DE (New York Giants)
  • Brian Urlacher – LB (Chicago)

All these players would do is prevent Detroit from adding depth with big contracts and play on the field that wouldn’t be reflected.

About Jason Bray

Detroit Sports Columist. Joined The Majors staff in 2012 covering the Detroit Lions.

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