The Detroit Lions have made a ton of changes this offseason. From general manager to head coach to quarterback, the Lions organization already looks nothing like it did a mere 6 months ago.
Nothing represented Detroit’s shift in identity more than last week’s NFL Draft. The Lions added seven new players last weekend, and several probably wouldn’t have even been considered by the previous regime.
It’s hard to say whether or not the Lions are improved overall as a team, considering they had to get rid of a lot of talent both to get under this year’s tight cap and to provide a new vision for the future. That being said, there are a few positions this regime has already attacked that actually look promising for the future.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Which position group appears to be the most improved this offseason?
My answer: While offensive line seems like a good answer considering Penei Sewell may finally fill Detroit’s long-term need of a dominant right tackle, the Lions’ overall depth on the offensive line—especially the interior—may actually be worse than it was last year.
Instead, I think the clear answer is Detroit’s interior defensive line. The Lions let Danny Shelton go, which makes sense given the schematic change. In his place, the Lions added not one, not two, but three players who figure to be part of the rotation immediately. Trading for Michael Brockers gives the Lions a veteran leader who will give Detroit above-average play immediately and act as a leader and mentor in that locker room.
Then the Lions added Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill on Day 2 of the draft. This allows them to not have to rely on the oft-injured Da’Shawn Hand or the sixth-round, pure nose tackle in John Penisini. In one fell swoop, the Lions improved both their starters and their depth, while paving a vision for the future at the position.
Detroit’s interior defensive line is set up both for the present and the future, and the Lions haven’t been able to say that since the Ndamukong Suh days.
Hat tip to our friend Ncoscarelli20 for the Question of the Day idea.