The Den | Lions Offseason Preview

Discussion in 'VIP League | Madden 19 Sim League | PS4' started by JerseyBorn, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. JerseyBorn


    May 17, 2016
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    The Lions 5-11 record wasn't quite what they expected for this season and now they find themselves in an interesting position heading into the offseason.

    You'd expect a team quarterbacked by Matthew Stafford to be fine offensively but this season was quite the opposite. Stafford was hurt for a large chunk of the year and backup QB Jake Rudock didn't do the best of jobs to keep the ship sailing as he only managed to win one game while starting. As far as the run game goes, Theo Riddick barely ran for 600 yards and Ameer Abdullah and Zach Zenner both ran for 200. Not a very productive offense by any means and will definitely need addressing in either free agency or the draft, if not both.

    However, the defense has a few bright spots to build around. The biggest one being the pass rush. Ezekiel Ansah was third in the NFL with 18 sacks and Anthony Zettel had 15.5 sacks of his own coming from the opposite end of the defensive line. Tahir Whitehead an eye-opening season at the outside linebacker position. He was fifth in the league for tackles with 124 and also had 5.5 sacks with 2 interceptions. The secondary doesn't need much changing, especially with a group of young cornerbacks led by Darius Slay Jr.

    This new Lions ownership has a tendency of finding players that most other teams consider to be mediocre and putting them in situations where they can succeed and play past the level of mediocre. So with that being said, don't expect the Lions to be huge spenders on any big name free agents. Most of the team's needs are at positions where they just need depth so they don't need to be big spenders in the first place. The two biggest needs for starters are definitely defensive tackle and linebacker. Haloti Ngata retired at the end of the season, and I'm not sure if the team would of brought him back had he come back for another season, and they have a few, young players at the position who could step in. Akeem Spence had 7.5 sacks on the season and behind him there's A'Shawn Robinson and Casey Sayles. Sayles was signed off Seattle's practice squad late in the year and he recently signed a 2 year extension with the team. Robinson is 23 years old and Sayles is 22 so they have the potential to be a big part of this Lions d-line for many seasons to come.

    I talked about how Tahir Whitehead had a solid season this year and there's also the 22 year old Jarrad Davis at middle linebacker. Aside from those two players, the rest of the linebacker core is question marks. Paul Worrilow was a starter at outside linebacker but the team has elected not to bring him back so they'll need to replace a starter on top of adding depth. Max Bullough and Joplu Bartu are both being let walk into free agency and the only other linebacker, currently on the roster, who's shown he could be a key piece is Jalen-Reeves Maybin. I'd expect the Lions to add depth to this position through both the draft and free agency.

    Running back is also a position that the Lions could look to improve. Theo Riddick still has a few years left on his contract, Ameer Abdullah has one more year left and Zach Zenner is not going to be brought back for another season. Riddick is 27 and we all know running backs age faster than most positions and Abdullah is 25 and has yet to show he can be the go-to guy for the Lions. So the need at running back isn't an immediate need but it wouldn't hurt to draft a guy in the middle rounds and groom him for a season to take over for Abdullah if next season does end up being his last in Detroit. In recent years in the NFL we've seen that running backs don't need be first round picks to be good players in this league.

    Ultimately, this ownership doesn't think this Lions team isn't far away from being a championship-caliber team. Adding a few pieces this offseason could very well be the first step to finally bringing a Super Bowl to Detroit and giving them their first championship since 1957.
    majesty95, Miggy_Ray and Burns like this.
  2. Burns


    May 17, 2016
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    roaring intensifies
    JerseyBorn likes this.

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