Linebacker corps

Been hearing the Lions are happy with this crew and don’t plan to prioritize LB in the draft

Alex Anzalone
Derrick Barnes
Shaun Dion Hamilton
Josh Woods
Chris Board

The Lions’ defense ranked 29th in third-down defense and 30th with opposing passers having a 101.0 passer rating against this past season. What is the plan to cover the middle of the field this year? Are we hoping Barnes becomes good? That Anzalone gets faster?


3 safety looks with 3 CBs and just 1 LB?


You’re forgetting Davis. Barnes needs to step up big time and become a solid starter. I’m sorry but if one of the top linebackers fall in our lap later in the draft, you have to grab him.

If it were me, I’d go all defense this draft and maybe try to get a TE and WR in the late rounds.


Well that might be hard with only one starting calibur safety on the roster. If we’re depending on our safety’s and LBers were plucked.


I personally would be upset if we didn’t add a LB’er in this draft as it is a fairly deep position group and we really need more talent there.

With that being said, it wouldn’t shock me if we didn’t. This staff clearly loves Barnes potential. They were comfortable starting Anzalone last year, and after the first 4-6 games he was actually serviceable. I’ve heard on more then one occasion that this staff really likes Dion Hamilton. Dan Campbell personally mentioned Jarad Davis by name after he was hired and clearly thinks there is some real potential there. Then we also added Chris Board who likely could have gotten more money and a longer commitment elsewhere as a top notch special teamer and depth. More then likely he was promised a legit shot at a key told in this defense.

Not saying I agree at all, because I don’t, but wouldn’t surprise me if we passed LB’er altogether.


exactly. I can’t believe they don’t sign a FA safety or draft Brisker/Cine if they are there at 34

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When Holmes arrived, iirc, he said something about building from the outside in. I could be wrong if it wasn’t him (someone else in the Lions brain trust). However, given that mindset, would it really surprise anyone if the very inside of the defense wasn’t addressed with the same urgency as we might want? That said, the recent ‘statement’ could be smoke, could be addressed in the draft still… and maybe they will be adding a safety (or 2) in the draft that gives plenty of flexibility still. I’d definitely say safety is a bigger need than LB. At least in terms of warm bodies. When camp cuts happen, I could see a LB added too.

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Davis had a PFF grade of 29.6
Anzalone 35.4
Derrick Barnes 30.1
Shaun Hamilton 36.5 (2020)
Josh Woods 55.9
Chris Board 53.6

I dare say this is the worst graded group of LBers in the league. We are going to get torched again this year defensively


I’m so used to having terrible linebackers that it’s become the norm. The last great linebacker we had was Levy who flourished for a few seasons.


If they run this defense with what we have at those 2 positions we will have the worst defense in the NFL

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This… maybe just a play of words.

Aka: they are set at this position as of today, regarding FA and keeping who they wanted from last year. This being set is where they wanted to be for the draft….

Now the draft will dictate if they draft one more…. And my the best men win!

ILB’s give me: Chad Muma, Christian Harris , Brian Asamoah , Devin LLoyd.

OLB’s: David Ojabo , Nik Bonitto , Aaron Hansford-types. HAS to be a step up from who we have.

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My dream is to come away from
This draft with KT, Jordan Davis, Christian Harris and Cline…

A guy can dream, can he not?


I think we’ll build the trenches out first, as well as add a top WR…then bandaid the LB & S positions until next year.

We’re building through the draft, and part of what that looks like is bandaids (one year contracts). If the one year contracts work out…fantastic…if not…we’ve got talent developed through the draft that is young AF, as well as hand picked.

I believe in the plan. We’ll be drafting LB and S, is my guess.

Maybe Barnes is ready to be a good-to-solid starter next year, and we draft a LB high next offseason?

I dunno. We’re gonna have less to complain about every year though. BRad’s doing a good job.

We’ll add Hutch/Thibz to the DL, as well as Jordan Davis.
OL and DL will be complete.

Next year we go in needn’t to upgrade our bandaids at LB, S, and QB. :wink:

Side note…ALL NFL rosters have some weak spots. We’ll get some competent dudes, but we’re not gonna have pro-bowlers at every position.

Another side note…Who knows what they decide to do with Fox, this year?

He could shore up the S position quite nicely.

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Very true But this isn’t just a weak spot. It’s probably the worst position group in the league as of now. Thinking on it critically, it brings back the optimism of next year to reality. Unless somehow these guys start playing above their skill level, our third down defense will be putrid. Teams will score at will and we will be lucky to win 5 games


PFF grades are clearly not everything, but they are a measure. DL play and controlling the line of scrimmage is crucial to good linebacker play. However, it’s difficult to get excited about those linebackers.

I still fully expect us to take a linebacker with one of our 5 top 100 picks. The main reason is most of those guys are on 1 year deals. I said this in another thread. Davis, Board and Anzalone all signed 1 year contracts, they are stop gap options, not long term solutions.

The wildcard is Barnes, if he develops, we might have 1 starting linebacker. Remember we traded up to get him and MC/DC and B. Holmes were fired up after drafting him. So, either they messed up or we see big improvement from Barnes in year 2. Hopefully, it’s the 2nd option.

Also a huge factor will be Alim and Levi’s development. If they play better, it’s going to help the linebackers in a huge way. Alim was decent last year, Levi not so much. We shall see.

This coaching staff gets a lot of hype, but now we need to see their young players improving in year 2. Player development is something good teams do.


I do agree with this…yup.

We’ll have a massive jump in production next year. I’m thinking we have upgrades at literally every position (barring injury). DL/DL/WR with first 3 picks, then hopefully the St Brown equivalent of a LB and/or S, with 3rd round and beyond. I expect us to get 2 WRs in the draft (just a feeling), with one high pick, as well as a later round.

I do see this. I don’t see the 5 win thing though. They’ll be semi-competent, but not good at those positions. Our entire LB corps are band-aid guys, with exception of Barnes.

My predictions…
-Our OL will win more games for us than ppl think
-Goff will look like a different player (super-controversial on should/shouldn’t upgrade)
-Game-Breaking talent on offense
-High likelihood that the DL helps to compensate, especially with the fronts that Detroit runs (essentially 5 up front with 2 LBs on most plays.
-Will have playmakers up front (on D) that cause havoc and don’t let them run the playbook cleanly…making games messy. Messy will favor us.

I agree with what you say about weak ass LBs and S. I also think we’re building through other avenues. My plan/expectation is speaking of priorities only. My plan says…
DE in first
DL in first
WR in 2nd

This still gives us…
*Rounds 3-7
Trade potential
…to fill spots at LB and S

IMO, there’s an outside chance that Davis could work out.
IMO, there’s an outside chance that Barnes could work out.
IMO, there’s a GOOD CHANCE that Brad gets us a nice starter in Rd 3-5

Safety → yup → we need more help. LOL. Looks hopeless without adding new dudes.

I firmly believe Brad will get us everything we need. My only concern is truly QB.

I don’t want us to have a borderline contender that is never truly a contender (like I perceive Goff to be). I’m truly not even worried about LB and S. My thinking is we will be good-to-great this year, if not next.

QB is more tricky

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they are keying on DT as the defensive focal point. It makes sense coming from The Rams. Donald allows them to play an entirely unique defense. Without Donald, the Rams are basically the 2014 Lions

I suspect in this draft, barring a trade down we will draft DE, DT, then S and maybe even tight end before linebacker.

The Lions have been sniffing around Davis and Wyatt. Assuming they are both gone at 32, how do you guys feel about Jones and Winfrey? Winfrey killed it in the Senior bowl and would certainly have their attention as a pass rushing 3 tech DT. But reportedly isn’t as strong against the run. Jones is an athletic mammoth. Both guys are athletic for the position

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If you are going to have below average linebackers, the D-line better be dominant. Otherwise, teams will run the ball down our throats like they did last year. We gave up 2296 yards rushing last year. No that’s not a misprint, lol


Feels like it to me too, bro. I certainly hope so. That’s my favorite way to get down.

Love her as a talk show host, but don’t want her on our DL. Sure, she’s a bigger gal, but by NFL standards is still quite small. Factor in age, lack of experience, and temperament…it’s a firm no for me. :wink:

I RELLY hope they somehow end up with Davis. I think he’s worth moving up for, if need be. Same with Wyatt.

I really think WR is gonna be a priority too. I think it opens up so much for the entire rest of the offense. What if we’re all set with exception of QB and S or LB going into next offseason? I can see this being the case.

Even with Chark and the draft, most of our improvement will come from within (combination of injured folks returning as well as improvement from one of the NFL’s youngest rosters).

I’m SO excited to watch this thing, this year.

I’ll let you guys know when I’m in Michigan and maybe we can get together for a game!

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