2023...Keep this band Together

I am not giving up on 2022 as I think the Lions can still finish with a strong record all things considered. The Lions are 4-7 with 6 games to go. I think the Lions have a real strong shot at a winning record the Jags and Vikes at home the next two weeks, then the Jets and Panthers on the road and then the Bears at home and Packers away to close the season. I LOVE the way this team is playing right now.

I am starting to really look at 2023 though and for my $ I am hoping Holmes decides to solidify this roster by mostly keep what we have already. For example these are the guys I want to re-sign (not in any order):
WR D.J. Chark. Not what we wanted from him but at this point I bet he signs a team-friendly deal if we stick with him.
RB Jamaal Williams. I am not letting my team leader get away. Should be very reasonable $.
G Jonah Jackson. I will spend $ to retain him.
G/C Evan Brown. I am willing to cut Vaitai if necessary but I want Vaitai back too.
DT/DE John Cominsky. he ain’t going anywhere if I am in charge. 28 years old in Nov. 2023.
CB Mike Hughes is staying put too.
Safety Deshon Elliott is also not going anywhere for my $.
LBer Alex Anzalone is also coming back for my $ and I want someone to beat him out. Barnes and Rodrigo should be our starters in 2023 but I am also adding a rookie to this mix too.

Not a single gamebreaker there but great locker room guys and these are glue guys. I am willing to spend big on Jonah Jackson. I am also not letting Evan Brown walk. He is 27 in September and he is a crazy valuable guy as he can play C/G and he is a viable starter too.

We are also getting DE Romeo Okwara back at some point (James Houston makes Julian Okwara irrelevant for my $) as well as Safety Walker (he may be out of a job at this point but I love him as expensive depth). DT Levi O. is also coming back but I am not counting on him anymore. If he plays great.

This 2023 Lions team then has 2 1sts, 2 2nds and our 3rd to see how we can fill out remaining roster needs. Back up QB is an issue. WR depth is an issue. Safety depth is an issue. DT is an issue.

But damn, with these 5 picks Holmes can do a LOT of damage cementing this core roster. For my $ adding a top DT, top CB and safety can really stock this defense. Adding WR really gives us dangerous depth and allows us to move past Chark in 2024 if necessary. Adding a RB in RD. 3 would be really, really smart.

Give this defense say DT Jalen Carter, say safety Antonio Johnson (with the Lions 2nd 1st rd. pick), CB Cam Smith/Brian Branch/Joey Porter, and then maybe a Noah Sewell late 2nd would really round out this defense.

Add a RB in rd. 3…like Tank Bigsby for example gives the Lions RB options. Tank looks liek a solid RB who can do it all and will likely be there in rd. 3 (if we are lucky).

Point is this roster suddenly looks like a VERY solid foundations with needs that this draft can fill. ESP. if we can add a top rookie DT the sky is the limit for this impressive young roster.

5 Likes

He is under contract for 2023

5 Likes

I should clarify with Jonah. I am locking him down right now. I am not going to get into a bidding war later or force him to prove his value. He is a top 5-8 LOG and I am extending him now. I am sending this message to the team: play well and we will take care of you. I am not waiting.

Concerning D.J. Chark I am treating like a solid #2 WR in free agency. I think he will re-sign for a solid but not silly contract.

Chark, Jameson Williams and Amon Ra St. Brown is a really good top 3 position group. Josh Reynolds is a fine #4 when healthy, Kalif Raymond is a good #5 and Tom Kennedy is a solid #6. I like that.

As much as I want a long-term QB I am fine growing with Goff at this point while we build a dominant defense and field a team that can run the football.

If we don’t lose any talent (locking down the guys we want to keep) and we gave another strong draft this team will be ready to do some serious damage in 2023.

I really, really like having guys like CB Mike Hughes, DT/DE Cominsky, Charles Harris and DeShon Elliott on this roster. Guys that can play but didn’t throw down with their previous clubs so we get value veterans now. Perfect.

3 Likes

Still gotta churn the roster. Adding a couple more draft picks via trade down would do wonders for this roster. We talk about an all Defense draft, but on offense we still need a OG starter/depth, outside WR, QB/backup, TE and could upgrade RB although if Williams is resigned we could wait a year.

Williams will exceed 1K yards rushing and be close to the league leader in TD’s and you think that you will sign him on a team friendly contract?

Maybe. He will be 28 in April and our Oline is as responsible for his play this year as he is. He seems like a team player and his grill is probably already paid for. I would not give him top 5 running back money but maybe top 15 money - $6 - 7m / year on a 2 yr contract. There are guys we can draft that would be similarly effective. Plus JWill is a fumbling machine now :joy:.

I don’t want Chark back. He has a history of injury, and to be honest, he just looks like 100 other wide receivers would look out there.

Uh, you do know that Chark only has 9 receptions for 114 yards this year??
Reynolds has 26 for 357 yards

Let Chark go and draft another WR in the later rounds

2 Likes

Chark has barely played any football for three flipping years.

For a “deep threat” he is a lifetime under 14 ypc.

Tyreek Hill has a 7 day stretch better than Chark’s last 2 seasons.

This guy is JAG, Just A Guy. No chance I want him back. Waste of space they should be signing a big body catch radius guy.

Reynolds is better.

6 Likes

I would literally rather have TK playing than Chark

Jamaal Williams is going to resign here for market value or slightly less because no one else is going to pay huge $ for a 28 year old RB that would put Jamaal in a better position. He will get paid market value for a 28 year old RB which is not crazy $.

Concerning Chark he isn’t healthy yet and he isn’t in football shape after missing an extended period. He needs time with Goff but he is a talented player. No other team will pay him huge dollars at this point so we might as well retain his services as we need WR bodies and he can play when healthy. He has heart and he is tough. He will likely represent huge value in 2023 as well but we will see what we need to see from him these next six weeks. I love the idea of bringing him back as his personality seems to fit here and he is just 27 years old in September 2023. He is crazy young still.

All teams churn the bottom of their rosters. They need to do that. And the Lions will do that. I believe everyone NOT named Swift or Jamaal Williams may be gone at RB for the Lions next season. We still have a #2 QB problem. CB AO is likely gone. Chris Board has been a HUGE disappointment as a possible starter. Anzalone might be gone. We have safety depth issues. I could go on.

But in 2023 the holes are less pronounced. A young roster core has been built. We can afford this roster in 2023. And from there we can start to see how this club will be unlikely to start ANY rookie in 2023 outside DT. That right there says it all. For example say we lock down DeShon Elliott and CB Mike Hughes. Mike is 26 in February and DeShon is 26 in April. Anyone think a rookie will start Okudah, Jacobs or Hughes at this point OR over Elliott, Joseph or Tracy Walker? Not me. How 'bout at LBer with Rodrigo likely to be MUCH better with a full off season and the continuing development of Barnes? On the outside we have Hutch, Charles Harris, Romeo Okwara and now Justin Houston as well as Paschal.

It is easy to see LBer depth issues still. DT has depth issues and more if you count out Levi (I see Levi as a non-factor-hope-I’m-wrong situation). I think we really only have Alim McNeil locked in as a true DT at this point. John Cominsky has been incredible and he is a keeper but he should be a critical rotational piece and not a starting level player. Safety has room for 1 or 2 more bodies and Walker might not be ready for the regular season.

At this point a really young and solid core is built. Now Holmes has the job of retaining the core and then adding critical talent in 2023. Having 5 top 90 picks can go a hell of a long ways in making this team a winning football team. Think about this:
Outside Levi…EVERY Holmes before the 7th round has contributed. In 2021 we added Sewell, Levi (bust at this point based on injury), Alim, Iffy (bust at this point based on injury) with Aman Ra and Barnes in there too. Levi and Iffy are busts based on injury mostly. In 2022 Holmes added Hutch, Jameson Williams (yet to see him play), Paschal (good when healthy), THE BALL HAWK (a hell of a safety), James Mitchell (just finding his role now), Rodrigo. James Houston (wow on Thursday) and then CB Chase Lucas. What a draft!!

Now Brad has 5 top 90 picks. We add stars through the draft. Think about it this way:
Potential all stars added via the draft include Sewell and St. Brown. Hutch and THE BALL HAWK.
Critical depth guys with upside include Alim, Barnes and Rodrigo, Paschal and now maybe James Houston.

Further, Holmes doesn’t let critical guys leave like C Ragnow. That is why I expect Jonah Jackson to be locked down as a long-tern fix at LOG.

This core is built and I don’t think Holmes will let young, talented guy leave after we start to develop them. That also builds the culture of the locker room.

There is

2 Likes

Chark has shown us already that he can’t stay consistently healthy.

He’s a pass for me moving forward

1 Like

TK jumped the Chark?

3 Likes

I would say that you are looking at it pretty optimistically. Hughes has been one of the worst CBs in the league this year and was already benched once. The Bills game was probably his best, but at this point I wouldn’t expect him or even want him back in 2023. I am a huge Okudah fan and do think he will develop into an elite CB. Also, while I love Jerry Jacobs, we can not go into 2023 expecting Jerry to be a starter. Let him compete with worthy competition for the job in camp, but we need to add a NB, and two outside CBs this year (starting caliber FA and high draft pick(s)). If Jacobs is expected to be one of our top three CBs in 2023, Holmes didn’t do enough to address that position.

I do like the trio of Joseph, Elliot and Walker. I wouldn’t discount Melifonwu as he has a very unique skillset to utilize. Joseph has elite potential, Elliot is a serviceable starter, Walker is a solid starter and excellent communicator/leader, and Melifonwu could be a matchup weapon on guys like Kelce/Andrew’s type TEs.

Don’t agree with your take on the LBers either. Rodriguez has been up and down so far. Considering his draft position he is blowing by expectations, but he hasn’t been anything special. I do believe he continues to develop and turn into a Stephen Tulloch level player, but he is not there yet and shouldn’t be handed a job in 2023. Barnes has grown by leaps and bounds this year, but he is still just a rotational player. He has starter upside but he needs to be pushed for sure. We are severely lacking an elite cover LBer. We need to add a free agent and a highly drafted rookie here.

1 Like

We also need to add an OG, a WR and at a min a backup QB.

1 Like

I hear ‘ya Detroit1811. I would like to add this thought:
Football is often perception.

In early November Rodrigo was graded the highest rookie LBer in the league (Highest graded NFL rookies at every position: Defense | NFL News, Rankings and Statistics | PFF) and his game Thursday was one of his best. If he was say a 2nd rd. pick many would be crazy happy. But as he is a 6th rd. pick he gets little respect for how good he is.

This defense has been shit for weeks overall. But we are seeing real signs of life now and that isn’t luck and it isn’t a fluke. Glenn has EVERYONE playing better.

In terms of Hughes he us playing better too. He is young still and he is a viable roster guy. Okudah is a viable starter and Jacobs is also really good. We just haven’t seen him enough. Jacobs has NFL game. He was fantastic versus Diggs on Thursday and that was no fluke either.

Keep Hughes and add a CB in rd.1 or 2 and that is a viable CB group:
Okudah, Jacobs, a rookie, Mike Hughes, Chase Lucas and ? as a possible 6th CB. If Jacobs stays healthy I don’t think a rookie will beat him out. The NFL game isn’t too big for him.

The Lions seem to believe in developing our own guys and our own locker room. Chark was the closest thing added as a splash free agent. I don’t think Holmes is going to change course now and I don’t think he should either. Keep this vote in place and add talent through the draft.

They could go 9-8, possibly 10-7, but, the Jet’s on the road is going to be a tuff game.
Playoffs?
Playoffs?
Let’s worry about that next year, although it would be nice.

1 Like

Right on LionFrog. I have never been so excited about a 4 win Lions team because I see what Holmes and Campbell are building now.

This defense is now doing things none of us thought was possible six weeks ago when this Holmes/Campbell experiment seemed dead in the water.

This club is 4-7 with 6 games to go. Thursdays game outcome was not what anyone wanted but this team fought hard and they stay on it they should be a dangerous team down the stretch.

4 Likes

That’s Green Bay’s game plan for years and it works.

1 Like

Right on Tucker. This IS the Green Bay plan overall. Draft well, build a complete team and see where it takes you. EXCEPT: they have Rodgers. We don’t.

The Lions window is 2023, 2024 and 2025. Holmes knows this. Ragnow is signed through 2026. Decker is signed through 2024 (Taylor is 30 in August and I don’t expect a third contract for him in 2025). Johan Jackson is likely to be here long-term and Sewell isn’t going anywhere. Vaitai or not Vaitai/Evan Brown is not a huge deal overall. Goff is signed through 2024 (like Decker) and Goff is 28 now with an Oct. Bday. Jameson Williams isn’t going anywhere, Amon Ra St. Brown will likely be a Lion through a second contract and RBs are not crazy important. I expect Jamaal Williams to get locked down the next 2/3 seasons. That is a lot to like on the O side of the football.

On defense this club is going all in on the draft for value and a lack of options. $ is bering spent on offense so defense gets draft picks overall. I am cool with that. Of the 8 Lions draft picks in 2022 6 were defensive picks. In 2021 4 out of 7 draft picks went defense meaning more split while Holmes worked to flush out the offense too. I expect 2023 to again be defense heavy while the O is locked down. No foundational player will be allowed to leave. That is why I think Cominsky and Mike Hughes will get locked down with 2 tear top depth deals. John Cominsky just turned 27 in November and Hughes is Mike is 26 in April. I also expect DeShon Elliott back for low end starters $ on another two year deal. The Lions have middle of the pack $ to spend and they are wise to lock down the guys we need back while building this defense through the draft.

This draft seems pretty stocked with defensive talent. The Rams pick is looking better and better each week. You give this defense DT Jalen Carter, I think maybe safety Antonio Johnson (to learn behind Elliott) and then a 2bd rd. CB (this draft seems LOADED with CB talent with CBS having 6 guys ranked in the top 60: https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/prospect-rankings/wide-receivers/cornerbacks) THEN…just add the best talent we can get on both sides of the football. WR, LBer, RB, TE and so on.

With two top rookies and Hughes and Elliott back this secondary looks dangerous and deep. Elliott, maybe Antonio Johnson, Tracy Walker and THE BALL HAWK is great. Iffy can maybe be a special team guy and deep reserve overall.

At CB Okudah, Jacobs, Mike Hughes, a top rookie and Lucas Chase and ? would also be excellent.

The DL would have Hutch, maybe Jalen Carter, Alim, Levi, Paschal, Cominsky, maybe Buggs and Romeo Okwara (if he still has NFL game). On the edge we have Charles Harris and James Houston and maybe Julian Okwara still. Julian will likely be surpassed by Houston. That is 11 guys between edge guys and interior guys. That is a hell of an affordable and dangerous line up.

At LBer…keep playing $ ball. Maybe add a 3rd rd. LBer if they have game and we love a guy there. Noah Sewell might be a guy we keep a real close eye on in the 3rd rd. if he fell that far for example.

I am really excited where this team is going and hell, what is still possible in 2022.

1 Like

I see CB & LB as our 2 biggest needs on this team. You have us going into 2023 with essentially the same at both position groups.

The more scenarios I run through, the more I consider CB Ringo as our top pick. I agree with what you said about our DB’s and adding 2 early is important IMO.

Going Ringo and then LB would improve both of the units that need it the most. Trenton Simpson is an option for our 2nd 1st rounder. Getting the #1 CB and the #1 LB would be great for the team.

2nd round pick could be CB again if Johnson/Porter/Gonzalez still available. JL Skinner is a option at S. If all of them gone, then offense is an option (RB, TE depending on who falls).