SI Lions Roundtable: What Will Be Lions' Most Important Position Battle during Training Camp?
1.) What is the Detroit Lions' biggest roster strength?
Golladay is coming off a career year with a league-leading 11 reception touchdowns, Jones is one of the best deep threats in the game and Amendola nearly had a career year a season ago at the age of 34.
Logan Lamorandier: Their passing game. It feels like this has been the case for a decade now.
Matthew Stafford was playing some of the best football of his career last season, and he has plenty of targets -- whether that be at receiver, tight end or running back.
2.) What is Detroit's biggest roster weakness?
Chirco: The biggest roster weakness is still likely what it was a year ago: the pass rush.
The only bonafide pass rusher the Lions have returning from last year's team is defensive end Trey Flowers, who tied for a team-leading seven sacks along with now ex-Detroit linebacker Devon Kennard.
Ex-Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins, who also finished with seven sacks in 2019, was brought in to help fill the void. But, the verdict is still out on whether Collins can produce outside of New England after his shaky two-and-a-half year stint in Cleveland (2016-18).
The onus is on Detroit head coach Matt Patricia to rectify the issue. If he doesn't, it will likely be another long season on defense for the organization.
Lamorandier: The defensive line. Similar to last season, I don't feel the Lions have much of a threat in regard to getting to the quarterback. Pressure will have to be manufactured through the scheme and stunts with the linebackers. It can happen. But, when it comes down to one-on-one matchups, I'm not confident the Lions have any true playmakers.
3.) What will be the Lions' most important position battle during training camp?
Chirco: I think it'll end up being the battle for who replaces Graham Glasgow at right guard.
It's some mighty big shoes to fill, and the Lions will likely lean on rookies Jonah Jackson and Logan Stenberg to fill the void.
Jackson is expected to have the leg up on Stenberg, after being taken with the Lions' first of back-to-back picks on offensive guards in the 2020 NFL Draft. Jackson was selected in the third round at No. 75 overall, while Stenberg was taken at No. 121 overall in the fourth round.
It should make for an interesting position battle to follow, as training camp -- set to kick off this week -- progresses into August.
Lamorandier: The guard spots. With former right guard Graham Glasgow leaving in free agency, there is a pretty big hole to fill.
Glasgow was one of the better guards in the league in 2019. That talent is going to be difficult to reproduce.
Yes, the Lions drafted two guards in the mid-round portion of the NFL Draft. Still, much like Glasgow's first year in the league, a rookie stepping into the starting lineup and playing well is no sure thing.
4.) Should the Lions have pursued safety Jamal Adams?
Chirco: I don't think it would've been worth it for the Lions. The Jets landed a huge package of assets from the Seahawks in return for Adams' services, including a first-round pick in 2021, a third-round pick in 2021 and a first-rounder in 2022.
While Adams is a highly-talented safety, the Lions, coming off a 3-12-1 campaign, aren't in position right now to make a move like that.
Additionally, if they were looking to make a big-time splash heading into 2020, they'd be better off acquiring an elite pass rusher -- just as the Bears did prior to the start of the 2018 season when they traded for All-Pro defensive end/outside linebacker Khalil Mack.
Lamorandier: My philosophy is to always pursue good players, as it never hurts to try.
For the Lions, specifically, they have a decent group of safeties already. Once the New York Jets disclosed their asking price, it should have been an easy decision to move on from negotiations. Two first-round picks, another mid-round swap and an established veteran for a great young safety looking to be the highest paid at the position is a ton to give up.
It's a win-now type of move for the Seattle Seahawks. Much like what is happening with the Chicago Bears' trade for Khalil Mack, the move will pay off early, but you're leveraging the future -- and for a strong safety in the case of Seattle.
Unfortunately for the Seahawks, they are still going to have to find a way to overcome a poor offensive line and pass rush this season. For their sake, hopefully, Adams provides enough playmaking ability to make up for their weaknesses.