"Did the Lions improve?" is our latest series analyzing the Detroit Lions' roster in comparison to their 7-9 2015 season. Next up, we look at the defensive tackles.
2015 DTs: Haloti Ngata, Tyrunn Walker, Gabe Wright, Caraun Reid, Jermelle Cudjo, Andre Fluellen, Khyri Thornton, C.J. Wilson
2016 DTs: Haloti Ngata, Tyrunn Walker, Stefan Charles, A'Shawn Robinson, Gabe Wright, Caraun Reid, Kerry Hyder, Khyri Thornton
Defensive tackle was one of the most overhauled positions for the Detroit Lions this offseason. Although the Lions re-signed their two starters in Haloti Ngata and Tyrunn Walker, they also added Stefan Charles and A'Shawn Robinson, both of which are expected to contribute significantly this season. Add that to capable players like Gabe Wright and Caraun Reid and suddenly the Lions have an extremely crowded depth chart.
Did they improve?
Adding A'Shawn Robinson alone would be enough to improve this unit from last year, but the Lions went a step further by re-signing their starters and adding Stefan Charles to boot. The Lions are going to have an intense competition during training camp this year, and they'll likely have to cut a player that could be a valuable asset to another team in the NFL.
It's essentially undeniable the Lions have improved at defensive tackle. They have arguably the top four defensive tackles from last year's squad plus Robinson and Charles. That's a pretty significant upgrade.
What about compared to 2014?
2014 DTs: Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, C.J. Mosley, Andre Fluellen, Caraun Reid
This is a more difficult question to answer. While I believe Nick Fairley's contributions to the team were always overstated, Ndamukong Suh's were not. Robinson has the potential to be the kind of player that makes the Lions completely forget about Suh, but at this point, the Lions aren't quite where they were in 2014.