Allen Park, Michigan – Optimism is often associated with an NFL team after a 3-13-1 season.
However, such is the case among the Detroit Lions fan base entering this season. why? For starters, this was the first year for a new regime led by head coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes. After starting the season with a score of 0-8, the Lions team finished the end with a score of 3-3 with participation in many close matches. After the season ended, Holmes vowed to “find the right men” for what the organization is trying to build, based on toughness and determination.
“No matter how much resources we have, we’re still going to find men who are compatible, and who really fit what we’re up to,” Holmes said. “You bring in guys with chips on their shoulders and stuff to prove, well a lot of times experiences shape people a lot. Like I said, we’re a brave group, so I’m not saying we’re looking for deal guys for a year, but we’re still looking for The right guys for who we are. We’ll probably be able to get more.”
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Expected maximum salary area: $20.21 million
The most important free agents: LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, S Tracy Walker III, WR Kalif Raymond, LB Alex Anzalone, QB Tim Boyle, OLB Charles Harris, S Dean Marlowe
Possible candidates for cutting: Two men to watch are RB Jermar Jefferson and OLB Austin Bryant. Both players showed flashes but the fact remains that the passing dash and depth of field behind D’Andre Swift or Jamal Williams are the areas that need improvement.
The big question: Should the Lions pick a quarterback with a late pick in the first round in the draft? It depends on who is available at this point. It’s pretty much a lock that Jared Goff will run the show again next season, but what does that mean for the team going forward? Several recruiting experts said this year’s class lacked any elite quarterbacks, so with drafting #2 and #32, it wouldn’t make sense for them to use their top pick with the young quarterback, so it all depends on who’s there in the position. 32. The coaching staff were given critical access to some of the best college football players in their coaching of the year. They’ve been able to see North Carolina’s Sam Howell, Liberty’s owner Willis, Western Kentucky’s Billy Zapp, and Pete’s Kenny Pickett, but there are no guarantees that any of these guys will be on the board at 32. If they are, I’d say yes. If not, I will move in another direction and try to draft the midfielder next year.
Best Holiday Season Scenario: The Lions adds some instant playmakers through draft and free agency. At this point, they need players who can influence the game on both sides of the ball, so they can’t be mistaken for a wide receiver, linebacker or safety. Also, if Campbell can convince a prominent free agent to seize the opportunity to rebuild in Detroit, that could be huge.
Worst case scenario off season: Lions lay an egg in the draft and free agency determines the momentum of the franchise instantly. This is a crucial stage in rebuilding and Holmes knows this very well. The longtime scout will have to draw on his experience evaluating talent and bringing in playmakers to help the Lions win more than three games next season. This will not be acceptable again.
An early look at the NFL Draft, from ESPN analyst Jordan Reed: The Lions are still in the early stages of rebuilding the roster and are in a position to continue to amass the best talent on the board. With Gauff potentially playing the final year of his deal, quarterback could be an area the team picks one of their picks in the first round. The wide receiver is also another area that Holmes could look to improve. Adding weapons to go along with TJ Hockenson and Amon-Ra St. Brown is vital.
Most important needs: QB, EDGE, WR
Top Picks: No. 2 and 32