Now that the Detroit Lions have made a few early signings, free agency is likely to slow down over the weekend. Let's take the time to evaluate the current roster to see where Detroit needs the most help. The Lions current have 52 player signed under contract for the 2016 season. Take a look:
QB: Matthew Stafford | Dan Orlovsky
RB: Ameer Abdullah | Theo Riddick | Zach Zenner
FB: Michael Burton
WR: Golden Tate | TJ Jones | Corey Washington
WR: Marvin Jones | Corey Fuller | Ryan Spadola | Austin Willis
TE: Eric Ebron | Brandon Pettigrew | Tim Wright | Jordan Thompson | Casey Pierce
LT: Riley Reiff | Corey Robinson | Lamar Holmes
LG: Laken Tomlinson
C: Travis Swanson | Gabe Ikard
RG: Larry Warford | Darren Keyton
RT: Michael Ola | Cornelius Lucas | Tyrus Thompson
Note: C Braxston Cave, RB George Winn have been offered exclusive right free agent tenders, but have not signed them as of Friday March 11.
Immediate offensive needs:
Backup quarterback - The Lions currently only have Matthew Stafford under contract. [The Lions re-signed Dan Orlovsky on Friday]
- Wide receiver depth - Detroit currently doesn't have any proven wide receivers on the roster outside of their top two targets.
- Interior offensive lineman - The Lions' three starting interior linemen are adequate to start for the team in 2016, but the only two signed backups, Gabe Ikard and Darren Keyton, have never started an NFL game in their collective careers.
DE: Devin Taylor
DT: Tyrunn Walker | Gabe Wright | Kerry Hyder
DT: Haloti Ngata | Caraun Reid | Stefan Charles
DE: Ezekiel Ansah
OLB: Tahir Whitehead | Kyle Van Noy | Jerry Franklin
MLB: Stephen Tulloch | Josh Bynes
OLB: DeAndre Levy | Khaseem Greene
CB: Darius Slay | Alex Carter | Johnson Bademosi
CB: Quandre Diggs | Nevin Lawson | Crezdon Butler
SS: Rafael Bush | Tavon Wilson
FS: Glover Quin | Don Carey
Note: LB Brandon Copeland, S Isaiah Johnson and DT Khyri Thornton have been offered exclusive right free agent tenders, but have not signed them as of Friday March 11.
Immediate defensive needs:
- Defensive ends - The Lions have literally zero backup defensive ends on the roster.
- Cornerback depth - Detroit has a talented starting two, but beyond that is a lot of unproven talent.
Starting strong safety - Tavon Wilson could start in a pinch, but the Lions would be wise to grab a starter this offseason. [The Lions signed Rafael Bush on Saturday]
- Middle linebacker - Tulloch is still penciled in at middle linebacker, but the Lions have already let him know he will not be on the team. For whatever reason, Tulloch has not been released yet.
K: Matt Prater
P: Sam Martin
LS: Don Muhlbach
Immediate special teams needs:
Long snapper - Don Muhlbach remains unsigned.[The Lions re-signed Muhlbach on Friday.]