Last week, I had you guys rank the Detroit Lions' biggest needs going into free agency. 829 of you submitted a ballot, and the results are as follows for the top five (each position's average score is listed in parentheses):
(For spots 16-6, click here.)
5. Running back (11.73)
Kicking off the top five is running back. Although the Lions currently have a pretty nice trio of Joique Bell, Reggie Bush and Theo Riddick, the running game last season was not very good. The offensive line had a lot to do with that (more on that in a second), but clearly the thinking is that the Lions would benefit from addressing the running back position this offseason.
4. Cornerback (12.06)
Cornerback usually is much higher up on the Lions' list of needs, but the emergence of Darius Slay has helped lessen the need here this offseason. The Lions do still need to address the other starting spot with Rashean Mathis set to become a free agent, and that is likely why cornerback came in fourth on this list.
3. Offensive tackle (13.09)
As hinted at earlier, the Lions' offensive line had a rough season in 2014. The constant injury issues at right tackle played a big role in the O-line's struggles, leading to OT coming in at No. 3 on this list. The Lions are set at left tackle with Riley Reiff, but clearly there isn't as much faith in the combination of LaAdrian Waddle and Cornelius Lucas on the right side. If the Lions share this lack of faith, they could very well decide to solidify the right tackle spot by spending another first-round pick on an offensive tackle.
2. Offensive guard (13.68)
Even higher up on the list of needs is offensive guard. The Lions filled the right guard spot by drafting Larry Warford in 2013, but with Rob Sims potentially done in Detroit, there's now a need at left guard. Filling that hole in the lineup with an upgrade in talent would go a long way toward fixing the Lions' issues on the offensive line.
1. Defensive tackle (13.82)
Finally, it should come as no surprise that defensive tackle is your top Lions need going into free agency. The Lions' top four defensive tackles from last season are all headed for free agency, and it's entirely possible that Detroit could lose two of the best defensive tackles in all of the NFL with Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley both set to hit the open market. Unless the Lions have an extremely successful free agency period at this position, defensive tackle will likely remain No. 1 on this list throughout the offseason.