As the Dust Settles...Positions that are Improved /Fixed

Free Agency has come and gone and now the draft has come and gone. This roster is unlikely to be set yet as there are solid free agents out there still and trades are possible. But the roster is mostly set. And I see some serious work that has been done. It is time to dig in to position groups:

  1. The OL Added Sewell and he will play ROT here. Crosy becomes the swing tackle. Jonah Jackson becomes the LOG. Decker, Jackson, Ragnow, Vaitai and Sewell with Crosby as the swing tackle. Interior depth is an issue. Sternberg will have to learn center to stick. With Crosby as the swing that is 6 guys and we keep 8 or 9 so there is room for depth competition. Adding Sewell to this group is fantastic. The OL looks much better with Sewell than without. In fact this can be a very, very good OL in 2021. I would LOVE to see Joe Dahl back as a depth guy.

  2. RB. Added Jamaal Williams to Swift and K. Johnson. Johnson can block and that helps. Drafted Jamar Jefferson who I think becomes the #4 back. That is a pretty solid group now. I loved Jamaal in free agency.

  3. TE with Hock, Josh Hill and pick a guy. We have options for the #3 and #4 guys but this is Hock and Hill as the 1/2 guys. I am fine with that as Hill is a good blocker. Better than James at blocking.

  4. The DL is exciting. Brockers, Romeo back, Flowers healthy, Levi Onwuzurike, Alim McNeil, Penisini, Nick Williams, Julian Okwara and D. Hand? Austin Bryant maybe. Maybe Charles Harris? I know the rookies are going to have to play but there is a LOT to like there.

  5. CB. Dunbar, Okudah, Amani Oruwariye, Corn Elder, rookie Ifeatu Melifonwu and maybe Mike Ford? There is a lot to like there too.

We have serious concerns at WR still (I like that rookie however), LBer and safety. ESP. at safety. But this club isn’t out of options in free agency or the trade market.

I would support looking at WR Michael Gallup for example. Adding Gallup to our WR group would go from question marks to very, very interesting. I like the rookie LBer we added but there are serious and legit concerns at LBer. Even if we cut/trade Taivai. And safety? Malik Hooker maybe? Tre Boston? Serious concern there.

There is a lot to like with this roster at this point. Hell, even back up QB is interesting. I didn’t exoect this draft but I understand it. I thin it make us better even if we emerged to serious question marks still at WR, LBer and Safety. I sure like the OL and DL options we added, I like the LBer and WR we added and I am very, very interested to see our late round RB who I think has a real shot here,


Drake Jackson might be your backup Center option. He and Stenberg were a pretty dominant pair at UK.


I agree with that thought. It is easy to see the opening and the need. And I am cool with that approach. I think that Sternberg will get a real opportunity as his mentality will be coveted by this coaching group. It needs to be refined though. I can see Sternberg and Drake Jackson making the team.

I forgot to mention Matt Nelson as the 4th tackle so I see Crosby, Nelson, Sternberg and likely Drake Jackson as the top four depth guys to make the roster. Sternberg has to play center to dress on game days so that will be a battle to watch.

I am bullish on this roster if we can add a little more talent at WR and Safety. As bad as the results were for the Lions I think almost all former players here have jobs somewhere else. The Giants signed four of our former players alone (Golladay, Shelton, Wiggins and Ragland). Justin Coleman has a job.

Point is this roster actually looks good in a lot of areas now. CB, RB, the OL and the DL and actually in pretty great shape now. We aren’t counting on a guy like Hand to step up. Hell, Hand might not even make this roster now. Even Okudah has to step up as he had to contend with Dunbar.

WR is still the biggest concern and is the biggest downgrade post Golladay and Marvin Jones. We aren’t as bad as folks think but we are talent deficient there. Safety is a concern. Will Harris is still a starter and he needs serious competition. Will should be seen as a depth guy at this point. LB we is concern but we can see that play out now as we have options there. Safety we don’t. WR lacks a #1 guy still.

Holmes will show us what he is thinking soon as his 2021 job isn’t done yet. Trades loom, post-June cuts loom and free agents remain. How will he round out this roster.

I believe that coaches need to win games year one. Teams need to feel success under a coach. Three years isn’t guaranteed despite any contract. Holmes has worked, re-made and defined this roster in a pretty serious way in 2021. And with a few more moves this roster will be ready to compete for a Wild Card spot in 2021. That has to be the goal.

RB, OL, DL, TE, QB and CB look really good to me now. We can develop and build from here.

I also think a real conversation about WR is in order. What is Holmes thinking and what is Dan Campbell thinking? How about OC Anthony?

Perriman, Tyrell Williams, Cephus and Amon-Ra as well as a lot of interesting other guys. That is the roster right now.

Guys like Cooper Krupp and Keenan Allen were 3rd picks who popped as rookies and were heavily involved in their offenses. I think each of those guys had 70+ catches as rookies?

On paper this looks bad. But paper doesn’t matter. Amon-Ra popped in college as a slot guy and it seems clear to me Cephus and Amon -Ra are battling for that #3 slot role. That will be a good battle. Perriman and Williams are good deep threats if they stay healthy.

This offense will have the ability to challenge defenses everywhere on the field. With Hock, Swift/Williams and this WR crew I see a balanced position group with an emphasis on guys who can stretch the field. Couple that with beast Sewell and I think I get it. Run the ball often. Take your shots and also balance that with high percentage throws to Hock and a RB.

Nope, we ain’t got Calvin or Golladay anymore. Even Marvin Jones and Golden are gone. We have Cephus and Amon-Ra now as slot guys with upside. But unproven. Perriman and Williams are question marks on one year deals. Injuries are a concern. How good are they? Can they stay on the field? We don’t know and I think Holmes may actually go with what we have now. On paper that is unwise. But I am interested in watching this unfold. I can see this working too with the right scheme and approach. This isn’t Caldwell’s Lions, Patricia’s Lions or Schwartz’s Lions anymore. This is a new era.

It has been a long, long time since the Lions had bad WR options. We are conditioned and spoiled to have a great WR here. Golladay, Marvin Jones, Calvin, Golden Tate, Roy Williams and before that Herman Moore, Perriman and others. For a brief period we had Crowell.

We are not there anymore. This offense will likely feature Hock and Swift and then WR with the slot being more important than we are used too. Amon-Ra may be better than any of us think in the slot. Cephus gets a real opportunity here too. That is weird and despite folks labeling this awful that doesn’t actually make it so.

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The efficacy of the WR group will depend on their ability (and Goff’s) to make defenses pay with chunk yardage gains when defenses drop down resources to stop the running game and short passing game.

To me, at least, it looks like the group’s main function will be to keep defenses honest so that the other parts of the offense can shoulder the load.

If that’s true, they could be effective without gaudy yardage or catch totals.


Golladay’s 2020 production isn’t that difficult to replace … because it was zero for 11 games.

Perriman, Williams, Cephus, St. Brown, Hockenson, Swift are all very capable receivers. Plus we have udfa’s Adams and McKinely, both 6-2 215, that can definitely ball.

Add in all of the veterans that are going to be cut due to the low cap this year … we likely will have several starting caliber, experienced players to choose from.

Detroit is going to be attractive to vets that get cut … there is a lot of respect around the league for Lynn, Antwan Randle El, and yes Goff.


I had WR as my main point of concern and when we really need a play I am curious to see who becomes that clutch target for us.

My main concern now is LBer. What can we expect from Jamie Collins at this point? The LBer from the Saints is better than what we had but he isn’t a game changer at all. The rookie LBer is a rookie and I don’t expect miracles from him. Jalen Reeves Maybin and others will get their shot but none of them have been productive. I can at least look at Tyrell Williams and Perriman and see production.

I expect Tracy Walker may rebound. I think he had real skill. Will Harris hasn’t shown us anything.

Holmes made big investments in the DL and that is smart as DL play is a big part of good LBer play.

Brockers, Levi and the 3rd rd. rookie should help along with Penisini and a motivated Nick Williams and D. Hand. We will have to see LBer develop but Parsons here would have been nice.

The fundamentals are in place now. Two exciting rookie DTs. Sewell. The rest of the OL. CB looks good. Evaluate, add more talent if we can and next season add safety, LBer and WR pieces. That seems smart to me. I am excited to see these DL investments pay off.

Enough to dump Diggs for peanuts.




ducks and runs away


The other day Orlovsky went on a rant about drafting the trenches first so your skill guys have a chance to do their thing, which I think was very prescient. Also very wise, this franchise has decades drafted the big name skill guys and asked them to perform behind a sub-standard OL, and that just doesn’t work. So, kudos to Holmes and the FO for having the guts to go with a different plan.

If the Offense can run the ball better and more often, then that should translate into more balance. That means you don’t have to have a shit-hot WR corps until you get to the point were you are looking for playoff wins or even just making the playoffs. I like the draft and I like the FAs, but I ain’t ready to say these guys will contest for a playoff spot. Anything is possible if injuries don’t cripple this team like it as in years past, but they gotta prove it.

I do think the Lions will try to sign an FA Safety and an FA WR. Neither are likely to be good starters though, those guys are already gone. Maybe a trade to send one of our 2022 pics for somebody, but not for a 1-year deal.

WR, LB, Safety, IOL. As others have noted, there are the spots that the Lions are thin at. Everybody is thin somewhere though, especially when they’re coming off a 5-11 record. But it ain’t over yet, this roster is not yet set.

And I will say this, the WR and LB positions may not be that big a deal if the Lions Offense can run the ball and be more efficient. Maybe they don’t need a Golladay, MJones, and Amendola as much as they did before. And maybe the Lions Defense will be in a Nickel more often, with less need for the extra LB. BUT - that means they do need more DBs for their Nickel and Dime packages. Unless somebody that’s already on the team comes out of nowhere to surprise everybody. Don’t laugh, it happens sometimes, especially if your pass rush is good.


Safety is a massive concern. I can see this secondary giving up a lot of big plays. I’m glad they have sone beef up front to help plug the gaps, but no LBers to finish the plays. And on offense - it’s a passing league. You have to have WRs.

However this wasn’t going to get fixed in one offseason

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When I say in the playoff hunt you have to remember the NFL added another playoff team. 7-9 likely has a team in the hunt in December. That is what I am talking about.

As much as we can talk about holes one has to also acknowledge some positions are looking really good. The OL looks great. Period. No more Kenny Wiggins cast off starters. Vaitai is the weak link but he can also run block well.

RB looks great. Swift looks like the real deal. Jamaal Williams was a brilliant signing. Kerryon can block and that 7th rd. rookie should be a fine #4.

QB looks good. Viable starter interesting back up.

The DL looks maybe better than 2014 OVERALL. Flowers is a good player. Romeo showed us he can play. Brockers is still the real deal. The two rookies look promising. Solid vet in Nick Williams. Wild card in Julian Okwara. Depth from there. That is a lot to like.

CB looks good too. Okudah, AO, Dunbar. That is solid. The rookie and Corn as an experienced nickel guy.

Holes yes. But forget to also see the work that has been done too.

Time will help this club as the young guys need experience. 2021 is not the year the Lions shock the world. But they should be competitive. They should develop a team identity. And the foundation is set for 2022. I think they should be in the Wild Card hunt with an expanded playoff field, a solid staff and real talent in key places. I find that exciting.

It’s not out of the realm of possibility the lions move Julian Okwara to outside linebacker. He has the speed and athletic ability. That would boost the linebacker Corp. I don’t remember but I also think he has a little bit of experience there.


Biggest hole left on the roster is safety. I think we have 1 starter in Walker. We need more competition in that group, a veteran presence would be huge.

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I agree najacks. Everything I have read outs Julian Okwara as a DE but if they make him a LBer and play him in that role I think we get better at LBer and then DEs can be straight DEs.

At traditional DEs we have Flowers, Romeo Okwara, maybe Brockers at times, Austin Bryant and Charles Harris. That is 4 guys and then Brockers. Maybe Jason Cornel.

At DT we have the two rookies, Brockers, Hand, Nick Williams and Penisini.

At LBer it is a hot mess but Jamie Collins, the rookie and Julian Okwara is interesting. Young. Add in the Saints signing, Jalen Reeves Maybin and the free agent from Washington. Tavai is likely gone. If Julian is in this group that helps but it also makes us young there.

Interesting stuff.

I don’t think N Williams makes the final roster.
I do agree Julian Okwara will become a OLB an that improves that group.
We may make a trade of one of are DL to improve S or LB also. I don’t see S as the need many do ,reason I think improved staff an better DL play not allowing as much time to pass.

Many when they talk the DL over look Joey Heath he will have to work very hard now to make roster after we drafted two an got Brockers but they signed him early to future contract. I am not expecting him to make final roster but never know. I would like trade him Williams for late picks or say a young S or LB or CB
There will be a lot of WR released an I expect one will be claimed.

My guess right now would be 10 players we have no idea yet will be on roster. I think one WR a S or CB an LB maybe a Vet OG depends on how V looks. Likely a pass catching TE since Bryant will be on pup for awhile.
I think we will also look to claim for the PS along with few of the UDFA we signed .

I would take a 9th round pick for Williams at this point. He’s just not a good football player.

we have never been able to rely heavy on a ‘running’ game because it never worked since Barry. I’d hate to see an epic ton of 3 and out drives on offense trying to become a “balanced” running team. that said, we better solve the remaining WR issue and Safety.

It will be interesting to see what happens with three players (Flowers, Vaitai, and Collins) after the 2021 season. Collectively, the Lions can save $21,586,000 in 2022 salary cap by moving on from just those three.


Personally, I think all three of them are gone. We can get much better production from draft picks or cheaper free agents at a fraction of the cost. Collins is getting up there in age, Flowers and Vaitai are always hurt too. Pretty sure Vaitai has never been a good player. I can’t wait to have all that extra FA money.