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Detroit Lions 2018 free agency: Immediate reactions, analysis to Devon Kennard, Christian Jones signings

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A look at the instant reactions to the Lions’ two LB signings.

NFL: New York Giants at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

After a relatively quiet day on Monday, the Detroit Lions started making some serious moves on Tuesday. Chief among those transactions were the agreements to sign two linebacker: Giants Devon Kennard and Bears Christian Jones.

Though Kennard was a player some linked to the Lions—credit to our own Mike Payton there—Jones was a signing that came a little bit out of nowhere. So in order to get to know the two a little better, let’s take a look at the instant analysis of the two from across the web.

Devon Kennard

With Kennard, there was immediately some confusion as to what role he would play, as the Giants used him in several different ways.

And then there’s this, regarding the Giants’ use of Kennard in the 2016 season:

That versatility left many Lions fans feeling pretty good about the signing:

And Giants fans didn’t seem to thrilled about losing him:

Here’s our friends at Big Blue View reacting to the signing:

Kennard excited Giants fans hungry for good linebackers with 4.5 sacks in 12 games (six starts) as a rookie, but really never again matched that production.

For the past couple of seasons, former defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo used Kennard frequently as a pass-rushing defensive lineman and relied on him less and less as a traditional linebacker. Kennard had four sacks in 2017.

Be sure to check out some of the comments, too.

It wasn’t all good review for this signing, however. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell gave the signing a C grade. “It’s possible Kennard could prove to be more than we saw in New York, but the Lions are paying a lot for the privilege of finding out,” Barnwell wrote.

Christian Jones

The feelings on Christian Jones are a little more polarizing. Bears fans are generally a little bummed about losing Jones, who started 26 games in the past three years with them:

Some Lions fans were on board, too:

But not everyone was on board with the signing. He had terrible grades according to Pro Football Focus, and Brett Whitefield explained why:

Jones’ ability to cover is the source of much debate. That’s of the utmost importance, because it has been a weakness among Lions linebackers for many years now. The Athletic’s Chris Burke calls him a “coverage linebacker,” while his PFF grades suggest otherwise. Jones ranked just one spot higher than Tahir Whitehead in 2017 when it came to coverage grades.

If there’s one thing pretty much everyone can agree on, it’s that this spells the end for Whitehead. Zac Snyder of Detroit Jock City outlines Detroit’s situation nicely here: