If not anything else, the current moves the Detroit Lions have made in free agency have done much to address the immediate needs this team has—well, outside of finding a guard to replace Graham Glasgow... or adding a premier pass rusher... or running back to prevent the team from having to scour the practice squads and waiver wire during the season for a replacement.
Okay, so Bob Quinn and Co. have done some things to situate this team for the 2020 season, but there’s still much to do, and some of that could certainly be accomplished through the NFL Draft at the end of April. Patience is a virtue, but Day 11 of quarantine bluntly reminds you patience is practiced.
On Saturday, our managing editor Jeremy Reisman wrote about the best move the Lions have made so far in free agency. Now, this isn’t a discussion about the worst move the team has made in free agency because it’s nearly impossible to make that judgement without seeing a single snap from any of the players they’ve brought into the fold. However, what I want us to get into is which move has you the most concerned going into the 2020 season.
So here’s today’s Question of the Day...
What free agency move by the Lions has you most concerned?
This is truly a toss-up between two moves the Lions have made this offseason: the signing of Halapoulivaati Vaitai to man the right tackle position when he hasn’t been a more than a role player in the past and the addition of Desmond Trufant. It’s tough to try and determine which one is going to be of greater impact on the team’s overall success in 2020, but for me, it’s the signing of Desmond Trufant to be the team’s replacement for Darius Slay.
So hear me out: Trufant can still play. He’s still a cornerback who is a plus for any team he’s a part of, but I’m not sure he’s the elite corner he once was a few years ago, and in order for Matt Patricia’s defense to work, he needs cornerbacks who are playing at the top of their game. Now, the case can be made that Slay’s level of play certainly took a step back last season, but even if Trufant is an upgrade, the Lions defense was still one of the worst in the NFL by any measure—like Football Outsiders defensive efficiency ratings which had the Lions with the 29th ranked pass defense.
Duron Harmon, as Reisman mentioned, is surely going to make the Lions more versatile, but there are still so many question marks surrounding this defensive backfield. Is Amani Oruwariye ready to step into the CB2 role? If not, do the Lions absolutely need to add Jeff Okudah in the draft? Is Justin Coleman more the player from the first half of 2019, or the second half? Is Trufant the player who can help raise the level of play from the rest of the secondary, or is he just another good player at this stage of his career?
All of these questions can be answered with a bit of patience, but in the here and now, the secondary is still a concern, and the player at the front of it all has a tall task ahead of him.