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3 Free-Agent Nose Tackles Lions Should Consider Adding

Our Logan Lamorandier provides his list of three free-agent nose tackles the Lions should consider adding this offseason

The Lions might be in need of a new nose tackle in the near future. 

Damon "Snacks" Harrison is currently in limbo on whether or not he is going to return next season.

It was a night-and-day difference in the Lions' run defense after Detroit general manager Bob Quinn traded for Harrison midseason in 2018. 

The nose tackle position is very important in head coach Matt Patricia's scheme. 

Unfortunately, Snacks dealt with a plethora of injuries this past season, and his performance suffered. 

It was no coincidence that when his play dipped, so did the Lions against the run. 

Due to his body breaking down, Harrison is now questioning if it is worth it to continue playing.

Here are three free-agent defensive tackles that the Lions could be interested in this offseason: 

DT Danny Shelton
HT: 6'2 | WT: 345 pounds

Shelton has been on the New England Patriots the last two seasons, and started 14 games in 2019. And the Patriot connection is strong in Detroit. 

So, it seems like a logical fit in Motown for the No. 12 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. 

Anytime a player is drafted that high, there is some serious ability. For whatever reason, though, Shelton hasn't lived up to his pre-draft hype.

Over the course of his career, Shelton has had his ups-and-downs, but his strength has always been stopping the run. 

He isn't on the level of "prime" Snacks, but he would provide a boost of athleticism and a big body to help plug the middle. 

Shelton's best season probably came in 2016 with the Cleveland Browns, when he accumulated the fourth-most run-stops in the NFL from the defensive interior position.

DT Michael Pierce
HT: 6'0 | WT: 345 pounds

Pierce is a rather unheralded player that has quietly put together a real nice career with the Baltimore Ravens. 

Going into his fifth year in the NFL, Pierce may be the closest thing to Snacks in the run defense department on the open market. 

Not to mention, Pierce is in the prime of his career.

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Per Pro Football Focus, Pierce was the fourth-highest graded interior run defender in 2018, and he ranked 12th in 2017. 

With the success Pierce has had against the run, he may be one of the pricier options in free agency.

The Lions are known for looking at players with length. 

However, if there is one concern with Pierce's potential scheme fit, it's that he's not a tall individual in the middle.

DT Beau Allen
HT: 6'3 | WT: 327 pounds 

Allen isn't a notable name, but it may sound familiar to Lions fans. 

In 2018, Allen was a free agent coming off a Super Bowl win with the Philadelphia Eagles. 

It was Patricia's first year as Lions head coach, and the Lions were reportedly interested in Allen.

Allen ended up signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and is a free agent once again in 2020.

In all likelihood, Allen would be a cheap addition, although he isn't in the same class against the run as Snacks. 

Unlike Snacks, though, Allen can provide a little more juice rushing the passer at the position. 

Despite appearing in 90 games throughout his six-year career, Allen has only started in 16 of them -- including none as a part of Tampa Bay's top-ranked run defense this past year. 

Being that Allen has almost always been a rotational player, it would be ill-advised to rely on him to be a starter. 

At the very least, he could be had at a relatively low price, and serve as a nice insurance policy for Patricia & Co. in 2020.


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