Kent Lee Platte has done a wonderful job over the past week or so detailing the Detroit Lions’ biggest needs this offseason. He has already made it all the way through the defense and is currently working on the offense.
If there’s anything I’ve personally learned from Kent’s articles, it’s that the Lions are in need of help just about everywhere on their roster. That isn’t to say they don’t have a lot of talent; they do. However, there is very little depth at just about every position and in many cases, the Lions started players in 2016 who have no business being an NFL starter.
But the Lions won’t be able to upgrade every single position in an offseason, it just isn’t feasible given the limited resources in free agency and the draft. So today’s Question of the Day is:
Which position—quarterback and special teams excluded—do you think needs the least amount of help this offseason?
My answer: Running back. While the Lions had one of the worst running games in the league in 2016, I think that could easily change in 2017 without any major changes to the backfield. The Lions are almost guaranteed to see some shakeup on the offensive line with Riley Reiff and Larry Warford’s futures unknown, while two former rookies will ideally take their play to a new level in their second seasons.
Then there’s the return of Ameer Abdullah. I know some are already fearing that Abdullah will earn the “injury prone” label after missing nearly all of 2016, but I think that is beyond premature. Abdullah was looking fantastic last season (though it was mostly against a bad Colts defense), and Lions fans should still be optimistic about him going forward. Abdullah seems genuinely humbled by the experience and judging from his quotes to the media, he is extremely motivated to return healthier and better than ever.
Detroit doesn’t have a lot of great rushing options behind Abdullah, but Zach Zenner proved himself somewhat competent, and a healthy Theo Riddick remains one of this offense’s greatest weapons. Those three don’t make up an elite group of players, but Detroit could certainly justify going into 2017 with the same group, especially considering the numerous issues elsewhere on the roster.