FanPost

Dream scenario for upgrading the lines this offseason


We are counting on Brad Holmes upgrading both the O-line and D-line this offseason. Here is my dream scenario for what those upgrades would look like:

O-line: In free agency, sign either the Patriots’ Michael Onwenu or the Dolphins’ Robert Hunt. I prefer Onwenu, because he can play both uard and tackle. Start him at right guard, and if either Decker or Sewell gets hurt, Onwenu can move over to tackle. The Lions haven’t had a good OT3 for years, and Onwenu would give them that. Let Matt Nelson, Dan Skipper, and anyone else vie for OT4.

Then use the draft for LG. I think Jonah Jackson is done with the Lions. His situation reminds me of Larry Warford’s a few years ago – he’s good, but he’s the odd man out. There are three OLs I would consider using pick #29 for in the draft: Oregon’s Jackson Powers-Johnson, Duke’s Graham Barton, and Arizona’s Jordan Morgan. JPJ isn’t realistic. I think he’s the best center coming out of college since Frank Ragnow, and I’ll be shocked if he makes it past the Steelers at pick #20. Barton and Morgan would be plug-and-play starters, with Barton having the advantage of some experience at center as well as guard.

A starting O-line of Decker, Barton, Ragnow, Onwenu, and Sewell, backed up by Glasgow and the best of Sorsdal, Awosika, Nelson, Skipper or any surprise riser from the practice squad, a free agent, or a Day 3 hidden gem in the draft would be special.

And if the Lions instead use their first-round pick on defense (see below), then instead of Barton or Morgan in Round One, there are some decent OL options in Round 3: Connecticut’s Christian Haynes, BC’s Christian Mahogany, U-M’s Zak Zinter or Missouri’s Javon Foster.

D-line: My #1 FA target would be Dolphins’ DT Christian Wilkins (PFF 74.9, 9 sacks, great leadership skills) or Ravens’ DT Justin Madubuike (75.1 PFF, 13 sacks). Those are dream signings; my bet is that their current teams extend or franchise tag them. The consolation prize at DT would be the Bengals’ DJ Reader (82.2 PFF and 1 sack). Then, if they don’t go OL in Round 1, draft Missouri edge Darius Robinson at #29 or Utah edge Jonah Elliss at the end of Round 2.

A DL consisting of Hutch, Alim, Reader, and Robinson as starters, backed up by Paschal, Cominsky, Houston, and two of Onwuzurike, Benito Jones, or Brodric Martin would be a formidable D-line.

Alternatively on the D-line, looking at edge in FA, one player who "popped" every time I saw him play this year was the Dolphins’ Andrew Van Ginkel. Playing edge/OLB, he had an outstanding 91.1 PFF score, 6 sacks, and is very good in coverage. If the sign Van Ginkel, then they could target a defensive tackle in the draft. In Round 1, draft either Texas‘ Byron Murphy II (91.1 PFF with 5 sacks), Illinois’ Jer’Zhan Newton (84.9 PFF with 7.5 sacks) or even Darius Robinson. I doubt Murphy and Newton will still be on the board at 29, but with all the skill players rising pre-draft, it isn’t totally implausible. If those players are gone, draft Florida State DT Braden Fiske (PFF 73.8 and 6 sacks) in Round 2.

Right now, I lean toward prioritizing the defense with the Lions’ first-round pick, both because the defense is in greater need of improvement, and also because I don’t think there is as much depth in the draft on the D-line as there is on the O-line.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.