Hiya Lions' fans. It's getting nearer and nearer to the start of the preseason, and it's time to worry!
Each week I think I'll post my top concerns. What worries me most about the Lions. I know, I know, there's always has been something to worry about with the Lions' and we're really hoping that we can stop soon. However, until the wins exceed the losses, I think we should worry healthily about what could cause concern or what could go wrong.
My biggest worry this week the Interior Defense Line. Let's take a deep dive on how good this group is, or rather how lean it is shaping up to be.
Levi Onwuzurike is injured. Do I need to say it, injured again. He is a key cog in the group. He is supposed to be the guy poised to take the biggest jump of any in this group. He was injured last season and was supposed to be working hard to be ready for the new season. I haven't heard him be named once as a stand out in camp. Now he's going to miss the opening season scrimmage game with an injury.
Without him the Lions will struggle to field two deep at these two interior positions. Brockers is a concern from last season too despite being a returning starter. He played through many nagging injuries and definitely was not the player we all hoped he would be. Backing him up is Cornell who has also had to fight his fair share of injuries since arriving on the scene. He's less than proven to be equal to the task is being the top back-up. Backing up the other starter Alim McNeil, Isaiah Buggs had been released and was out of football up until just a few weeks ago, but now is being asked to play an important part of the team's rotation. At third string, undrafted rookie Demetrius Taylor and practice squad carryover Bruce Hector are the reserves.
It really bothers me that the core of our defensive line is manned so thinly. While Green Bay feasted by adding Jarrett Reed in free agency to pair with Kenny Clark while a pair of sophomore tackles, TJ Slaton and Chris Slayton return, plus the team drafted in the first round Devonte Wyatt to further bolster their line. Furthermore, the five-man front already features stand-outs Rashon Gary, DeVontre Campbell, another 1st round pick Quay Walker, and Preston Smith.
The contrast is striking in terms of depth and draft capital expended on this key position. Although the Lions rush should prove to be better than last season it's ability to stymie enemy rushing between the tackles seems likely to be a concern. Much is hoped for Alim McNeill to prove to be a elite player in the middle, and Brockers and Onwuzurike are also hoped to be proven stars, the depth of proven quality and recent performance tests leave me worried.
Just as the receiver corp proved to be a glaring weakness in 2021, the defensive line interior seems like a problem in the making and could lead to a wasted year, yet again. It seems likely little can be done to change this outcome now. Of course, rather than simply worry we can hope that Detroit's sophomores rise to the challenge in front of them.
Could a surprise surface? Is Josh Pachal, John Cominsky, or even Demetrius Taylor a possible answer to the potential disaster?