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Detroit Lions Offseason Team Needs-TSJ Sports

Detroit Lions Bruce Adler


Detroit Lions Season in Review

Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions were one of the more surprising teams in the NFL. Stafford led the team to a 9-7 record and wild-card playoff berth. The Lions overcame a 1-4 start, and of their nine wins, six were fourth quarter comebacks led by Stafford. Detroit ended its season with a four-game losing streak, and a 20-point loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the first-round.

Offensive Needs

Theo Riddick was the leading rusher with 357 yards. The Lions ranked 20th in ppg, 21st in ypg, and 30th in rushing. Offensive line and running back are Detroit’s biggest need on offense. Larry Warford and Riley Reiff are free agents and the Lions are likely to move on from both.

Former Temple Owl, Dion Dawkins would be a solid early round selection. At 6-3 317, Dawkins has the skill-set and athleticism to be a day-one starter and would be an upgrade at right guard. Texas running back D’Onta Foreman would be a valuable asset in the ground game. Foreman rushed for over 2,000 in 2016 and was a true workhorse for the Longhorns. Against Kansas, he amassed 51 carries. At 6-0 238 pounds Foreman gives the Lions a punishing runner to complement its pass catching backs. He’ll get a major opportunity to boost his draft stock as he was the only player from Texas invited to the NFL Combine.

Defensive Needs

Defensive tackle Carlos Watkins offers great value in later rounds. Watkins was a force for the Clemson Tigers. Watkins ended 2016 with 50 tackles. 13.5 tfl, and 10.5 sacks. He also enjoyed an excellent postseason. Haloti Ngata is aging and the Lions need talent to compliment Ezekiel Ansah. Watkins provides an instant interior pass rush, regardless where he lands.

Detroit desperately needs help in the secondary. Darius Slay is one of the more underrated defensive backs in the league and the Lions need a corner to solidify the other side. Adoree’ Jackson was one of the most explosive players in college football in 2016. A three-year starter at Southern Cal, Jackson was an instant sensation. He ended 16′ with 55 tackles, 11 pass deflections, five interceptions, and four return touchdowns.

At 5-11 185 pounds, Jackson has elite cover skills, and provides “home-run” ability with the ball in his hands. On offense, Jackson ended his college career with 37 receptions for 552 yards and five touchdowns. Jackson was a two-sport athlete at USC starring on the track team. He earned Pac-12 honors winning the outdoor long jump title in 15′ and 16′. In addition to placing second in the Pac-12 100 meters in 2016 and earning All-American status after twice placing fifth in the NCAA long jump.