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How Haloti Ngata fits with the Lions in 2015

A quick look at what the Haloti Ngata trade means for the Detroit Lions in 2015.

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Is he Ndamukong Suh? No. But Haloti Ngata is the prototype fill-in for a Suh-less Detroit Lions team in 2015. No one person will be able to affect opposing offenses the way Suh did in Detroit last year, but the addition of Ngata gives the Lions a less dramatic drop-off at the position. Ngata is a space-eater, and even at age 31 he is still able to create chaos along the defensive line. Most importantly, though, he'll allow for other Lions defenders to continue to make plays.

What Ngata brings the Lions is versatility. He's played all over the defensive line in his career, shifting to base defensive end last year after playing nose tackle in 2013. It's unclear how the Lions will use Ngata at this point, but be sure that Teryl Austin and the rest of his defensive staff will continue to change up defensive fronts in 2015.

Last year, according to Pro Football Focus, Ngata rushed the passer out of four different techniques along the line. His most productive spot as a pass rusher was at the 3-technique. This is where Suh primarily worked over the years. Essentially the defensive tackle is lined up in the B gap, or the space between the right guard and right tackle. For more information on defensive lines and gap techniques, check out this breakdown from The Phinsider.

While Ngata can supply some pass rush, his main role will be as a run defender, most likely manning the nose tackle spot for the Lions. This leaves the Lions with a gaping hole they still need fill. As of the writing of this, options for a pass-rushing defensive tackle on the market are slim, especially with Nick Fairley likely to be gone. This may force the Lions to look toward the draft to continue to fill the hole left by Ndamukong Suh.

Adding Ngata, a five-time Pro Bowl player, was a good start, but the Lions still have work to do.

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