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3 biggest roster holes the Detroit Lions still need to fill

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Detroit still has a few holes in the roster as we put the draft behind us.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

We are now a couple weeks past the 2019 NFL draft and the second phase of free agency is kicking off. With players like Ezekiel Ansah and Dontrelle Inman finally finding landing spots, teams are starting to fill the final few cracks in their roster as we head into the summer. While nearly everyone would agree that the Detroit Lions have improved this offseason, with a flurry of spending in free agency and a strong draft class, the team still has a few positions they have to address in the coming weeks. Here are the biggest holes on the depth chart as we inch towards training camp.

Guard

The Lions biggest need on offense entering this Spring was at guard. Detroit lost their best offensive lineman when they released T.J. Lang early in the offseason, and they still have not found an adequate replacement.

As of now, journeyman guard Oday Aboushi is the favorite to start at right guard for the Lions, but there is no way his spot is secure at the moment. Kenny Wiggins earned some of Lang’s snaps last season when the starter went down with an injury, and sophomore Tyrell Crosby will have a chance to compete for the role as well.

Guard still looks like a huge weakness on the Lions offensive front, though. They failed to address the position in the draft, and with limited options still available in free agency, it looks like Detroit will be heading into the 2019 season with a gaping hole in the interior of their offensive line.

Cornerback

The biggest need on the opposite side of the ball for the Lions was cornerback, and while they did make some major moves to fill the position, it is still a question mark heading into the summer. Detroit’s inability to field a worthwhile CB2 last season cost them more than anything in 2018 and they made it very clear it was a position they needed to fix this offseason.

Cornerback Justin Coleman was one of the Lions biggest free agent signings. The former Seattle Seahawk is a great player that should provide an instant boost to the Lions defense, but he cannot fill their need at outside corner. Coleman will most likely play in the slot, meaning the team still has a need out wide. Free agent signing Rashaan Melvin is a potential fix and will probably enter training camp as the starter, but that is not a signing Lions fans should be too excited about.

Interestingly enough, fifth round pick Amani Oruwariye may be the best option to play across Darius Slay this season. He is a developmental pick, though, and may not be ready to truly take on that role in year one. And whenever you are depending on your fifth-round pick to fill one of the most important roles on your roster you know you are in some sort of trouble.

Jack linebacker

Another huge need for Detroit entering this spring was adding pass rushers. They landed one of the best pass rushers in the league in Trey Flowers, and the addition of Austin Bryant in the draft could prove to bolster their defensive end room. They still have a need at the other side of the defensive front, though.

The Lions best “jack” linebacker is the crown jewel of their 2018 free agency haul, Devon Kennard. While Kennard has a great start to the 2018 season, he became a non-factor late in the season. Detroit can get creative with their personnel and move Flowers or middle linebacker Jarrad Davis out to the edge, but they still probably need Davis to fill a role at inside linebacker next to rookie Jahlani Tavai, and Flowers has always been most effective when he is playing with his hand in the dirt upfront.

All hope does not seem lost here, though. If Bryant develops into a starting caliber player year one then Detroit will have to rely much less on Kennard. Davis was productive as a pass rusher last season as well, and since Detroit will most likely play a lot of nickel defense, he may get the freedom to rush off of the edge. There is also a chance to Romeo Okwara builds off of an impressive 2018 campaign to become a starting level pass rusher then Flowers will have more freedom to move to linebacker.

While things may looks a little gloomy at jack at the moment, odds are if the Lions find a solution it is one that is already on the roster.