Identify Lion players below avg. at their positions

You could do this by rankings from PFF or just your own opinion. For the sake of argument, 1-11 is above avg to elite, 12 -21 is avg. and 22-32 is below avg. this allows for a continuum and some leverage in your ranking.

  1. I am going to start with TE. I certainly hope Hockenson recovers and becomes elite, but I’ll start my list there.
  2. Name a LB’er.Tavai, Davis, Jones…all fighting with the TE’s for worst positon group in football. Severely handicaps this team.
  3. RG Not a premier position but woeful at times.
  4. DT Big hole to fill, no pressure, no depth.
  5. RB No threat, no elite traits, injured, Kerryon Johnson
  6. CB2 Not good enough to challenge mismatches or make plays consistently.
  7. QB2 Back-ups couldn’t start anywhere for an NFL team.

Surely, starting in FA you might consider where your team is avg or below avg and pursue players you think are better. Our TE room currently has a vacancy generated by FA for Logan Thomas. Now, last year our number three TE did not distinguish himself, neither did Jesse James. Hockenson was hurt. I haven’t checked but there are three or four TE’s I think that might improve the room. Cameron Brate, Hunter Henry and Kyle Rudolph. Theoretically, any one of those is better than Thomas and improves the team.

Moving on to LB’er. Nobody will mistake any Lion Lb’er for all pro’s. Players who would improve our lot would be nearly anyone we pick. I would shoot for a difference maker. This is kind of like asking for two different skill sets because of pass rush and coverage abilities. Corey Littleton is a freak and I think getting him might solidify our pass coverage and provide leadership for Tavai and Davis while allowing us to move Davis to OLB where his rushing abilities might be better utilized and his coverage abilities limited while he learns from a guy like Littleton.

  1. RG, the Lions have shown out three guys in Aboushi, Wiggins and Glasgow at least as near as we can figure. They have highlighted Benzschawel’s development and Joe Dahl’s. They might be looking at Joe Thuney, an upgrade to solidify the IOL. EX-Patriot. Good fit. Drafting a guy like Bredeson, Kindley, Cushenberry or Lemieux gives you a cheaper solution for a back-up.

  2. DT, there are solutions to this problem. Many have discussed their ideas. I like FA names like Javon Hargraves and DJ Reader. Also, guys like Davison, Kinlaw, Brown, Blacklock and others on draft day.

  3. RB has been a sore point. Derrick Henry. Solutions in the draft like Swift and Taylor and Cam Akers and Vaugn and others.

  4. CB2, well even if we retain Slay this may be a vital need. Chris Harris in FA or certainly Okudah in the draft.

  5. QB2, a guy like Bridgewater or maybe Jalen Hurts or even Justin Herbert, who knows but the fodder from last year points this out.

Some might say edge rushers and these guys are premium players,
Chase Young in the draft, or one of the guys from free agency in Judon or Dupree. Better than the alternative of Okwara and Kennard who have given us avg play but we need to generate more pressure so, premium investments. You could argue QB1 or OT or WR but I tried to start with below avg. players. You might have different ideas.

This may seem overly bleak. But I think free agency could fill four or five spots and the draft also could fill three or four. Hashing some of that out will allow the most flexibility.

I dream, but bringing in a FA class like Littleton, DJ Reader and Thuney like last years blitz and maybe Rudolph or Brate. I fill all four of my top below avg. positions with plusses. The draft with Okudah and Murray gives me two more. I get shots at WR depth, RB and even CB or safety .and punters. For instance, we move on from our punter and get one from the college ranks. Cheaper that way and an upgrade, presumably from an inconsistent roster spot and less expensive than the veteran…

Last year, I identified Flowers and Mark Ingram and CJ Mosely and the Minnesota LB’er and Coleman as likely targets this way and we offered all of them. We only got a few but it was better than a bunch of GM’s. We were actually winners. Hopefully, they think like I do, if last year was any indication, they do.

I know, long post.

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I feel like you go after what helps the team most. Sometimes that means filling the biggest holes, but sometimes not.

On O, I feel like we can succeed, as long as we don’t have a drop-off or injury. Inserting Stafford makes them solid-to-good, just by keeping the same guys (provided we stay at GG level or above with his replacement).

We definitely could upgrade Wagner, interior line, WR, and RB.

On D, we have holes at every level. IMO, the secondary is the strongest of our units, but they can’t succeed due to literally zero production from the DL.

DL IMO, has holes at both tackle positions, and possibly LDE (inconclusive, due to injuries). If Young is there at 3, and we are forced to draft at 3, that dynamic drastically changes. I’m hoping for trade down and snagging Brown or Okudah (feels like Okudah would be the guy).

I feel like DT is both the biggest hole, and the biggest impact on the team.

While I think our RBs are serviceable (below average, but we can still be successful on O with them out there), I DO see RB as an area that would have massive impact on what we do. I’m all about getting a RB in the 2nd round, if not third.

I view our TEs as better than you do, and expect them to be much improved this year, on Hock’s health, alone.

WRs are good, but not fast. We really need team speed. While WR is not a glaring area of need, I feel like Jeudy may be one of the best 2 or 3 players in the draft. He won’t be drafted super-high, because of his position, but he is a game changer. I feel like he would have a Tate-like impact, though it would look very different. He is a very different player than Tate, and wouldn’t be the YAC guy, with the underneath stuff, but he would loosen things up for the run game and other WRs. Dude would take the lid off the D and make them pay if they didn’t double him. WR seems like a crazy choice with all of the glaring needs we have (especially on D), but if they got a few of the right pieces in FA, I could see them going that direction, because of overall impact on the team. We will likely field a below average D this year, but if our O is scoring 38 pts/game, we will still win a fair amount of games.

If we don’t fix DL, we may not even have to worry about much else. Our Tackles are awful, and LDE is a huge question mark.

I’m not sure we have a single above average LB on the roster, at this point. DL will make them look better. Kinard can be serviceable, but is very one-dimensional. Davis has a high ceiling, but it is starting to look like he may never reach it. Tavai is who he is - solid, but not likely to be awesome. Jones is the weak link of a weak unit, IMO.

I think we’ll be bringing all of them back as starters again next year. If we draft Okudah and fix the DL, they still could be solid, especially in looking at how weak our schedule is. I hate that the goal on D is basically to not suck.

On O, we actually could end up kicking a fair amount of ass. If we somehow end up with Jeudy, I’ll be happy with that too, though I’m the biggest fan of fixing the DL.

I think safety isn’t nearly as set as everyone seems to think. There’s a reason all these mock draft pundits look at Walker, Harris and Wilson and think, they need a safety let’s give them one. We’re hoping a lot for the standard year-to-year improvement with Walker and Harris, but what if that doesn’t happen? What if one of them struggles through an injury-riddled season? What if Harris isn’t very good? What if Wilson goes from average to below-average overnight? He’s not getting any younger. There are a lot of ways we could be left hurting at safety.

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All possibilities. My thinking is - if we don’t get the DL fixed, we could have Woodson, Sanders, Bly, and whoever else, and it wouldn’t make an ounce of difference. Just basing it off of last year.

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Matt Patricia, Quinn, uh, oh wait, you said players. Never mind.

YES, Bob Quinn needs to hit on some very solid defensive help no matter what else he does or like you say Big Nat, It won’t matter because we are likely to repeat a similar outcome as 2019.

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Yeah, fair point, and I agree we simply have to get after the passer better. My thinking is they work in concert, and we’ve had plenty of years where our secondary couldn’t hold up for the 2 seconds it took our line to get home. And if the above scenario I cited at safety played out, well then it might not matter if we had LT, Bruce Smith, and Reggie White rushing the passer… we’d simply get nickel-and-dimed to death… especially with the current coverage abilities of our linebackers… yet another thing we have to fix.

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but hey at least we have a “defensive assistant” this time around ….

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Yes! I feel like you have to have an entire unit “right”. If you have the entire secondary legit, it helps DL. If there is one weak link, they get picked on, and the rest don’t matter.

When you have an entire unit that is legit, it helps the other 2 levels. When we had Jones, Fairley, Suh, Ansah…with a healthy Levy behind them, our DBs didn’t have to be world beaters. QB running for his life (usually while shitting his pants). Gawd, I loved that.

I intended to get your opinions which might differ from mine. That way, I can assess an overall view of our weaknesses without my bias coloring the assessment.

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well I think our RB’s ranked 21st in the league in 2019.

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Wouldn’t it be quicker to list the over? :flushed: