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Wednesday open thread: Is the Lions’ defensive line already better than last year?

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Detroit has made a bunch of small moves, but has it added up?

NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

While the Detroit Lions made their offseason splashes on the offensive line, they have quietly been addressing the defensive side of the ball during the second wave of free agency. In total, they have made four defensive line signings since free agency opened on March 9.

Though Detroit didn’t spend a ton of money on the position, there are a few new faces among the defensive line right now. Let’s compare last season’s depth chart to this year’s:


DE: Ezekiel AnsahKerry HyderAnthony Zettel
DT: Haloti NgataA’Shawn RobinsonStefan Charles
DT: Tyrunn WalkerKhyri Thornton
DE: Devin TaylorBrandon CopelandArmonty BryantWallace Gilberry


DE: Ezekiel Ansah—Kerry Hyder—Anthony Zettel
DT: Haloti Ngata—A’Shawn Robinson
DT: Akeem SpenceJordan Hill—Khyri Thornton
DE: Cornelius Washington—Armonty Bryant—Brandon Copeland

So to recap:

Additions: Akeem Spence, Cornelius Washington, Jordan Hill
Subtractions: Stefan Charles, Tyrunn Walker, Devin Taylor, Wallace Gilberry

There’s very little chance the Lions are done with their defensive line, but today’s Question of the Day is:

Have the Detroit Lions improved their defensive line so far?

My answer: I would say these defensive lines are about the same. Detroit seems to have rightfully moved from their ineffective starters among the left side of the line: Tyrunn Walker and Devin Taylor. However, to call their replacements upgrades is a huge assumption. Akeem Spence and Cornelius Washington don’t even appear to be starting level talent. That being said, A’Shawn Robinson should improve in his second year, and if the Lions can get more than five games out of Armonty Bryant, they should see better play. Additionally, Jordan Hill gives the Lions a little better depth at the 3-tech position than they had last year.

Still, overall I think this is a ton of work to do here, and I expect the Lions to be aggressive addressing their front four in the NFL Draft.

Your turn.