Lions Did Not Do Enough to Improve Defense in Free Agency
The Detroit Lions defense struggled mightily in 2019 and resulted in efforts being made during the early portion of free agency to improve different position groups.
They ranked 28th by Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric and ranked in the bottom third of the NFL in several defensive categories.
In evaluating the moves made in free agency, Detroit was able to replace talent that moved on from the organization but did not necessarily get markedly better.
Their biggest areas of need remain the same as they had before the free agency period opened.
Detroit finally was able to move on from Darius Slay, but did not get better in the secondary by replacing Slay with Ex-Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant.
They still need a defensive tackle and a cornerback. Detroit added Danny Shelton and Nick Williams -- but neither are viewed as linemen teams will fear.
While adding rotational interior linemen and veterans in the secondary was adequate, if Detroit is to take steps forward they will still need to address these positions.
Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press summarized the Lions needs with the NFL draft one month away:
"For now, the Lions' top three corners are Trufant, Justin Coleman and Amani Oruwariye, and their top interior linemen are Shelton, Williams and Da'Shawn Hand.
It's crucial they add more firepower at both positions, or there's a good chance the defense that let them down time and again last season will do the same in 2020."