The Detroit Lions offense seems pretty set, however, they may be dealing with a defensive overhaul. The best defense in the league may be taking some serious hits, especially on its front line. It will be interesting to see how the Lions use their cap space to maneuver and retain their dominance on the defensive side of the ball or if they can at all.
Offensive Needs: C, OG
The Lions’ offense is pretty set. They have 27-year old Matthew Stafford as their franchise quarterback and just recently re-signed Kellen Moore to back him up as well as Dan Orlovsky. They released Reggie Bush at running back but Theo Riddick will step right in to his role with Joique Bell as the lead back. They could grab another RB for depth, nevertheless, don’t expect them to make any sort of splash. The Lions have a superb one-two punch at wideout with Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. They will likely retain exclusive rights free agent Jeremy Ross as well. Much like at running back, they may add a wide receiver to compete for the W3 spot but don’t expect anything drastic. Detroit is stacked at tight end so don’t expect much there either.
Then we get to the O-line. The Lions could use some help at center, guard and right tackle. Right tackle is not as huge an issue because they have some young talent at the position. Nonetheless, depth was a major issue on their line in 2014, and you can never have enough linemen. The most glaring hole is at center if they do not retain veteran Dominic Raiola. They could also bulk up at guard. They may just re-sign Rob Sims. Even if so, like I said, they need depth.
Defensive Needs: DT, CB
It looks as if the Lions are about to lose Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairly, which is about as massive a hit you can take on a defensive line. After speaking with an insider, I believe that Suh will end up in Miami for close to $18 million per season and just under $60 million guaranteed. Unless the Raiders swoop in and just break the bank now that Randall Cobb is off the table. The loss of these two star tackles will leave a gaping hole in the middle of their defensive line. As of now, I have them slated to draft DT out of Texas Malcom Brown 23rd overall. They should be okay at defensive end with Ziggy Ansah and Jason Jones, who can also be moved inside.
They also need help in their defensive backfield. They are set at safety when it comes to their starters Glover Quin and James Ihedigbo, but they could use some depth later in the draft. Corner back is a whole other issue. After DT it is the team’s most pressing need this offseason. They will have to address the position early in the draft. I currently have them projected to pick Stanford CB Alex Carter in the second round. Other options could be Ifo Ekpre-Olomu or DJoun Smith.