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What needs remain for the Lions following the draft?

What are the Detroit Lions' biggest remaining needs following the 2015 NFL Draft?

Larry French/Getty Images

How did the 2015 NFL Draft affect the Detroit Lions' list of needs? First, let's recap the needs they addressed during the draft:

  • Offensive guard (Laken Tomlinson, plus Manny Ramirez via a trade)
  • Running back (Ameer Abdullah)
  • Cornerback (Alex Carter and Quandre Diggs)
  • Defensive tackle (Gabe Wright)
  • Fullback (Michael Burton)
  • Offensive tackle (Corey Robinson)

In the first round, the Lions not only drafted Laken Tomlinson to be their starting left guard, but they also acquired Manny Ramirez in a trade with the Denver Broncos. By bringing Ramirez back to Detroit, the Lions filled their need for a veteran backup at both guard and center.

On Day 2 of the draft, the Lions bolstered the running back position by taking Ameer Abdullah, and they also found Rashean Mathis' potential future replacement by selecting cornerback Alex Carter. Later in the draft, on Day 3, the Lions also added cornerback Quandre Diggs, who will likely primarily focus on playing the nickelback role.

Speaking of Day 3, the Lions finally added another defensive tackle to their roster by trading into the fourth round for Gabe Wright. In addition, they selected fullback Michael Burton, who will likely be a Day 1 starter, and they also took offensive tackle Corey Robinson, who will mainly be a developmental player in his rookie year.

So, with the Lions adding seven picks and one veteran during the draft, what needs are left? On offense, quarterback, running back, fullback and tight end all seem to be set at this point. The Lions could always bring in someone unexpected at these positions to compete for a spot in training camp, but it's tough to imagine any major changes happening.

The positions on offense that don't seem to be 100 percent set at this point are wide receiver, offensive tackle and offensive guard/center. At wide receiver, for example, the Lions could still use an upgrade at the No. 3 spot, so perhaps a veteran free agent will be brought in at some point to compete for that role. On the offensive line, meanwhile, the Lions' depth is much improved, but they could potentially use a veteran tackle and/or a veteran interior lineman. They have a lot of young guys across the offensive line, and even after adding Ramirez, I could see them bringing in another veteran before training camp like they did with Garrett Reynolds last year.

On defense, there aren't any real major holes at this point. Perhaps they could use another body at defensive end with George Johnson now on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and I suppose defensive tackle isn't necessarily completely set despite the Lions drafting Wright. Their top four at DT now features Haloti Ngata, Tyrunn Walker, Wright and Caraun Reid, but maybe they will look to bring in a veteran like Andre Fluellen to compete during training camp.

As for the back seven, I can't find any holes at this point. Linebacker is still perhaps the deepest position on the roster, and with two new cornerbacks, there aren't any holes left at that position. I suppose safety could become a need if James Ihedigbo and the Lions don't eventually resolve their contract dispute, but assuming he remains a member of the team and reports for training camp, everything appears to be set there as well.

Finally, the Lions are good to go at kicker, punter and long snapper with Matt Prater, Sam Martin and Don Muhlbach all back. They still could use another player to compete for the return job on special teams, but I suppose Abdullah could end up filling that role in addition to playing running back.

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