Burning Questions: Do Lions Have Most Complete NFL Roster?

What does a successful 2024 season look like for Detroit Lions?
Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell.
Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell. / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Detroit Lions have generated plenty of buzz with their success in 2023 and a strong offseason performance by general manager Brad Holmes. 

Detroit added several potential contributors to a roster already brimming with young talent. After a 12-win campaign and the first division title since 1993, there’s plenty of momentum surounding the organization. 

Heading into the fourth year of the Holmes and Dan Campbell era, the Lions are viewed as legitimate Super Bowl contenders. This comes after the team lost in the NFC Championship game last season and will bring back many of the talented pieces that helped them reach that mark last year. 

Additionally, with newcomers such as DJ Reader, Carlton Davis and Terrion Arnold, the Lions have assembled one of the most complete rosters in the NFL. 

On a recent podcast, Pro Football Focus ranked the Lions’ roster second among the best in the NFL. With only the back-to-back reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs ahead of them, the Lions have earned national acclaim for their roster-building efforts. 

“I don’t know that there’s a better roster in the NFL than the Lions right now,” said PFF’s Sam Monson. “They would be, absolutely, I would have them either one or two on my roster rankings. I think the Lions, really, is a good roster. They’ve done a phenomenal job of patching up holes, addressing their weaknesses, attacking areas that haven’t been as good. I don’t think there’s a clear weakness.”

The Lions have made a noted effort to address the various concerns around their roster. After the pass defense ranked 29th last season, Holmes and company spared little expense to acquire improved talent. Davis and Amik Robertson were veteran offseason additions, while the team used its first two Draft picks on cornerbacks in Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw. 

Detroit lost a valuable part of its offensive line when Jonah Jackson inked a three-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams, but the team promptly filled that void by signing veteran guard Kevin Zeitler. 

As it stands, the Lions have very few pressing needs. While the team would benefit from adding productive depth at wide receiver and safety, there are internal options that could wind up making a big difference with increased opportunities. 

Because of this, it’s hard to view the Lions as not being one of the most complete organizations in the NFL heading into the 2024 NFL season. 

Is 2024 season a success without Super Bowl ring?

With the Lions’ success in the 2023 season, they’ll be expected to make noise in the postseason this upcoming campaign. The resources are in place, and the mindset within the team’s Allen Park facility is that the time to hoist the Lombardi Trophy is now. 

Several Detroit players outlined the high expectations during offseason workouts, as well as admitting that more work will be required to reach the ultimate summit. However, the group does not appear to be shying away from these increased goals. 

In a recent piece for NFL Network, writer Adam Rank stated that a successful season for Detroit ends with a Super Bowl win. 

“I know it might seem wild to be talking like this, but the Lions have won 22 of their last 30 games after starting 1-6 in 2022,” Rank wrote. “They knocked off the Chiefs to open the 2023 campaign. They won two playoff games in January after going 31 seasons with nary a postseason victory. The last one had come against Dallas in the 1991 Divisional Round, and if you were alive back then, you remember how the Cowboys used that loss as a springboard to a dynasty where they won three of four Super Bowls. (I know kids today can't fathom this.) I don't mention that to say the Lions are about to go on such a run. My point is, Detroit's Super Bowl window is wide open right now. Time to get after it.”

Can the Lions still deem the 2024 season a success without winning the Super Bowl? Given the expectations within the organization, it is indeed unlikely that they will be satisfied with anything short of being the last team standing. 

Detroit took measures to ensure its core of Jared Goff, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Penei Sewell is entrenched for the long term. This will allow the organization to remain intact and competitive for the future, but there are several others who will either command long-term extensions in the near future or move on to other teams. 

Because of the pressing nature of immediate success in the NFL, it is important for the Lions to maximize their current situation. As long as they stay healthy, the Super Bowl should absolutely be the expectation for the 2024 campaign.


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Christian Booher

CHRISTIAN BOOHER

Sports journalist who has covered the Detroit Lions the past three NFL seasons. Christian brings expert analysis, insights and an ability to fairly assess how the team is performing in a tough NFC North division.