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Thursday open thread: Where does WR rank in the Detroit Lions’ needs?

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How big of a need is wide receiver?

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

In Tuesday’s notes, we noted that MMQB’s Andy Benoit listed wide receiver as the Detroit Lions’ biggest need. Some found it misguided, others agreed.

MLive’s Kyle Meinke took on the topic on Wednesday, and while he didn’t outright say it, he certainly suggested positions like tight end, cornerback and pass rusher were of at least equal need for a Lions team that is entering this offseason with some clear roster goals.

“But is (receiver) really their biggest need? For a team with so many needs, that’s hard to say,” Meinke concluded.

An argument could be made for really any of these positions being a top need. So today’s Question of the Day is:

Where does wide receiver rank on the Lions’ biggest needs going into free agency?

My answer: I would probably still rank it fourth. Here’s how I have the team’s needs right now.

  1. Cornerback
  2. Pass rusher (preferably on the edge)
  3. Tight end
  4. Wide receiver

The Lions are in desperate need of some playmakers on defense, which is why I placed two defensive positions at the top of the list. Detroit created the second-fewest amount of pressures in 2018 and were tied for the second fewest interceptions in the NFL (seven). Sure, the Lions scoring offense (25th) was a lot worse than their scoring defense (16th), but the two work together. Create more turnovers and big plays on defense, your offensive numbers are going to look a lot better. And right now, the Lions very clearly have more playmakers on offense than they do on defense.

As for the tight end/wide receiver debate, for a team that is likely going to try and be even more balanced in 2019, the value of a tight end is likely higher on Detroit than it is other teams. Detroit doesn’t only need a receiving threat at tight end to help stretch the middle of the field, but they need a solid run blocker, too. For as good as Levine Toilolo was at pass blocking (best grade per PFF), he struggled in the running game (54th per PFF).

And considering the Lions only have two tight ends under contract, that’s not only a bigger need, but Detroit could really use at least two of them.

Your turn.

Poll

Where does WR rank on the Lions’ team needs?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    1st
    (19 votes)
  • 10%
    2nd
    (84 votes)
  • 25%
    3rd
    (215 votes)
  • 39%
    4th
    (330 votes)
  • 21%
    5th or later
    (179 votes)
827 votes total Vote Now