Detroit Lions fans have been toying with the idea of bringing back Pro Bowl guard and former Lions third-round pick Larry Warford now that the Saints have released him. And according to at least one ESPN analyst, a reunion makes a lot of sense.
A panel of ESPN analysts looked at the top free agents still available in the NFL and listed their best fits for each player. Jeremy Fowler picked the Lions for Warford, while Matt Bowen selected the Bears and Field Yates chose the Browns.
“Reuniting with Warford, the Lions’ third-round pick in 2013, gives Detroit an upgrade over Joe Dahl or Oday Aboushi,” Fowler wrote. “It also gives draft pick Jonah Jackson a year to develop.”
His point makes some sense, but it also completely negates the fourth-round selection of Logan Stenberg. Do the Lions really want to spend a full year benching their third and fourth-round picks to allow them to develop, while spending at least $7 million on Warford? It’s a fair question to ask, but given the resources the Lions spent on the guard position already, a reunion with Warford seems unlikely.
But Warford wasn’t the only free agent linked to Detroit. Bowen believes former Giants linebacker Markus Golden would be a perfect fit in Detroit.
“Detroit drafted Notre Dame outside linebacker Julian Okwara in the third round, but why stop there?” Bowen wrote. “The Lions are a heavy man-coverage team, and they couldn’t get to the quarterback consistently in 2019. Adding Golden gives coach Matt Patricia another edge rusher for which to scheme.”
Last year, Golden notched his second 10-sack season with the New York Giants. We’ve seen the Lions pluck defenders from the Giants often, and at 6-foot-3, 259 pounds, Golden fits what the Lions are looking for athletically in a linebacker. The only measurement that would turn the Lions off is his short arm length (31 1/8 inches).
But is linebacker/edge rusher still considered a big need in Detroit? The Lions added Julian Okwara and Jamie Collins Sr. this offseason, and they still seem to have a lot of faith in their current linebacking corps with Jarrad Davis and Christian Jones.
- Solid use of quarantine time:
What do you do during quarantine? Make a @Lions man cave! #OnePride pic.twitter.com/EaAoxKsC7M— Adam Myers (@CoachAdamMyers) May 13, 2020
- Former Lions defensive lineman Roger Brown is frustrated with the impact COVID-19 has had on his sports bar in Virginia. How frustrated?
“Whoever came up with this damn coronavirus and then passed it on to America, I want to put him on the line right across from me. And I guarantee you, you’ll never see him again.”
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press has the whole story.
- Nick Bawden and Isaac Nauta may be battling for a roster spot come August. Erik Schlitt of Lions Wire breaks down the tough decision between the two.
- Also from Lions Wire: Information on the Lions UDFAs and their signing terms.
- PFF broke down how Lions running back D’Andre Swift compared to the rest of his draft class:
Swift's ranks among 16 RBs drafted in 2020 NFL Draft, stats since 2017:— PFF DET Lions (@PFF_Lions) May 12, 2020
-No. 9 in Rush Grade
-No. 10 in MT/ATT
-No. 4 in YCo/ATT
-No. 1 in Rec. Grade
-No. 5 in MT/Reception
-No. 2 in YPRR
- The folks over at Detroit Sports Network are giving Lions fans an opportunity to showcase their fandom while also raising money for the fan’s charity of choice. More info here.