Our latest series on the Detroit Lions roster continues with a comparison of the defensive tackle position from 2014 to 2015. Did the Lions improve at defensive tackle? Let's take a look.
2014 DTs: Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, C.J. Mosley, Andre Fluellen, Caraun Reid
2015 DTs: Haloti Ngata, Tyrunn Walker, Gabe Wright, Caraun Reid, Jermelle Cudjo, Roy Philon
Oh boy. I don't think I've ever seen a position experience as much turnover as the Lions did at defensive tackle this offseason. Their top four players from last season, including one of the best defensive players in all of the NFL, are gone. In their place are Haloti Ngata (acquired via a trade), Tyrunn Walker (signed as an untendered restricted free agent), Gabe Wright (drafted in the fourth round) and Caraun Reid (the lone returning player at this position).
Did they improve?
Uh, no. The Lions might have made enough moves to keep this position afloat, especially with someone like Teryl Austin leading the way at defensive coordinator. From a talent standpoint, however, the Lions are not even close to last season at defensive tackle. Losing Suh alone pretty much made it impossible to improve, but losing him, Nick Fairley and C.J. Mosley? Well, that's a lot of talent walking out the door.
What about compared to 2013?
2013 DTs: Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, C.J. Mosley, Andre Fluellen
What was said above also applies here. The Lions were fortunate enough to have perhaps the most talented group of defensive tackles in the NFL the last couple of years. That talent was inconsistent at times, but it's going to be tough for the current group of defensive tackles to even come close to the level of play we saw at this position in recent years.