Getty Lions general manager Brad Holmes on the field during training camp in 2021.
The Detroit Lions have a lot of work to do before the NFL draft in terms of preparation, but they’ve already done some work in free agency before that could influence what happens this month.
With the free-agent frenzy kicking back in a big way now, people are choosing to rate the Lions for what they’ve already done. While some fans may be frustrated with Detroit’s patient approach, it’s not problematic for the Lions for many reasons in the minds of experts.
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In fact, Detroit has taken the right approach with a modest free agency period before the draft according to many, and Bleacher Report has echoed that sentiment in a big way. Writer Ian Wharton took a look at qualifying teams and their offseason work ahead of the draft. The Lions got a respectable ‘B’ from Wharton thanks to his ability to add players who wouldn’t be too bright and might not help the Lions win. Instead, he looks to the team’s draft.
“The draft remains the key pipeline for the Lions in 2022 and beyond. By cutting some big contracts like Trey Flowers, this franchise seems to be headed in the right direction. Whoever they select with the second and 32nd overall picks will go a long way toward shaping their future,” Wharton wrote.
Detroit did a good job of not overspending and bringing in players who believe in the system and what it’s building. That will help the team move forward and maybe give them a big advantage in terms of rebuilding in the future. As most people understand, the eraser is the most important place for this improvement.
Most significant 2022 NFL Draft for Detroit
As this article suggests, the Lions will see some significant changes in the NFL draft. This period is the time when the team has to focus on building something that will last into the future. Last year, the Lions did a great job adding players in the draft with limited means and also found some potential stars in the form of offensive lineman Penei Sewell, defensive lineman Alim McNeill and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. This year, the Lions have nine picks to work with, which should allow the team to look for a lot of key solutions, especially on the defensive side of the ball where they’ve had big problems. The Lions have needs at every position, including defensive line, linebacker, cornerback and safety as well. It’s safe to imagine that the team will use multiple selections to help with those fixes.
This makes Wharton’s analysis spot on. It seems that the draft of the next few seasons will be much bigger and more important than free agency for the team.
What the Lions could do next this offseason
It’s fair to hope the Lions have another round of moves that help boost the team’s defense, even if the signings aren’t big-name items or big-name players. Detroit managed to see some of its mid-level plays in free agency pay off during the 2021 season, so the expectation for the team should be that more of that continues next year. The more players the Lions sign to increase their depth, the better off the team could be. The Lions struggled with players filling roles in 2021, so the more players they have to fill out their depth for next season, the better. Help could be had at linebacker, safety, defensive line and cornerback in free agency before some long-term fixes in the NFL draft this month.
Fans might be upset that the Lions haven’t spent more so far, but in the minds of some, it’s a reasonably sized win that the team has been wise with its deals and hasn’t chosen to spend more this offseason. Many see the Lions as highly rated for these moves.
That could help better prepare the team for the future when all is said and done, and while many have been frustrated with the team’s perceived inaction, it goes to show that the Lions could deserve better marks and more respect for what they’ve done than Many. to think.
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