Though the Detroit Lions likely have at least one more significant signing coming soon, their major offseason moves are now complete. That means it’s a good time to look back on the offseason and recap the biggest and best moves from the offseason.
Last year, we asked the same question we’re asking today, and the answer was nearly unanimous. Everyone was extremely impressed with how aggressively general manager Bob Quinn attacked the right side of the offensive line in free agency. Sadly, injuries and inconsistent play made Quinn’s strategy look less impressive than previously thought, although his additions of Rick Wagner and T.J. Lang could still pay off in the long term.
Regardless, now it’s time to focus on the Lions’ 2018 offseason. Today’s Question of the Day is:
What was the Lions’ best offseason move this year?
My answer: While aggressively attempting to fix the running game may end up being Detroit’s most noteworthy offseason move, I think adding Devon Kennard may be the single most important move Quinn made this offseason.
Revamping the Lions’ defense in one offseason is a daunting task for first-time head coach Matt Patricia, but one of the most important things in his scheme is linebacker play. The Lions have struggled at linebacker for several years now, and despite the addition of Jarrad Davis last season, it looked like the Lions may be headed down that road again in 2018.
But Kennard is such a versatile piece that can do so many things for this Lions defense, that I think it will go down as Detroit’s biggest move this offseason. He can rush the passer, he’s a solid run stopper, he can put his hands in the dirt—both on the outside and inside of the line—and he can be just as effective as a standard outside linebacker.
As Scott Bischoff wrote for The Athletic this week, “linebackers in this scheme are like the lead singers of a rock band.” And among the Lions’ lead singers, Kennard is their Freddie Mercury, able to do hit any note the Lions ask of him.