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Detroit Lions Off-Season Review

Dan Kornhauser breaks down the Detroit Lions' off-season moves!
Publish Date: 06/01/2024
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

The Detroit Lions shocked the world with their unexpected run to the NFC Championship. The Lions had a double digit lead at halftime, but didn’t quite have enough to put the 49ers away. It was a bittersweet end to the season, but it gives the team and fan base hope for the future. This off-season wasn’t the typical rebuild Detroit seems to always be going through; this was about gearing up for another shot at a Super Bowl. Let’s see what moves they made to reach that goal, and dive right in to the Detroit Lions Off-season Review!

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2024 Off-season Player Movement

Expired Contracts
Player NamePositionFROMTOF.A. Status
Halapoulivaati VaitaiGDETUFA
Romeo OkwaraEDGEDETUFA
Charles HarrisEDGEDETUFA
Julian OkwaraEDGEDETUFA
Jerry JacobsCBDETRFA
Tracy WalkerSDETUFA
Jake McQuaideLSDETUFA
Arrivals
Player NamePositionFROMTOF.A. StatusAcquired via
Kevin ZeitlerGBALDETUFAFree Agency
D.J. ReaderDTCINDETUFAFree Agency
Marcus DavenportEDGEMINDETUFAFree Agency
Carlton DavisCBTBDETTrade
Amik RobertsonCBLVDETUFAFree Agency
Departures
Player NamePositionFROMTOF.A. StatusDeparted via
Teddy BridgewaterQBDETUFARetired
Josh ReynoldsWRDETDENUFAFree Agency
Jonah JacksonGDETLARUFAFree Agency
Matt NelsonTDETNYGUFAFree Agency
Benito JonesDTDETMIARFAFree Agency
Anthony PittmanLBDETWSHRFAFree Agency
Chauncey Gardner-JohnsonSDETPHIUFAFree Agency
Will HarrisSDETNOUFAFree Agency
Re-Signed
Player NamePositionFROMTOF.A. Status
Nate SudfeldQBDETDETUFA
Craig ReynoldsRBDETDETUFA
Zonovan KnightRBDETDETERFA
Donovan Peoples-JonesWRDETDETUFA
Brock WrightTEDETDETRFA
Shane ZylstraTEDETDETRFA
Graham GlasgowGDETDETUFA
James HoustonEDGEDETDETERFA
Jalen Reeves-MaybinLBDETDETUFA
Emmanuel MoseleyCBDETDETUFA
Kindle VildorCBDETDETUFA
Khalil DorseyCBDETDETERFA
Scott DalyLSDETDETRFA

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2024 NFL Draft Class

RoundPickPlayer NamePositionSchool
124Terrion ArnoldCBAlabama
261Ennis Rakestraw Jr.CBMissouri
4126Giovanni ManuOTBritish Columbia
4132Sione VakiS/RBUtah
6189Mekhi WingoDLLSU
6210Christian MahoganyOGBoston College

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Preseason Projected Depth Chart

OFFENSE
POSSTARTERBACKUPDEPTH
QBJared GoffHendon HookerNate Sudfeld
RBJahmyr GibbsDavid MontgomeryCraig Reynolds
WR1Amon-Ra St. BrownDonovan Peoples-JonesIsaiah Williams (R)
WR2Jameson WilliamsAntoine Green
WR3Kalif RaymondTom Kennedy
TESam LaPortaBrock WrightJames Mitchell
LTTaylor DeckerDan SkipperConnor Galvin
LGGraham GlasgowKayode AwosikaChristian Mahogany (R)
CFrank RagnowMichael NieseKingsley Eguakun (R)
RGKevin ZeitlerColby SorsdalMatt Farniok
RTPenei SewellGiovanni Manu (R)
DEFENSE
POSSTARTERBACKUPDEPTH
EDGEAidan HutchinsonJosh PaschalMathieu Betts
DLDJ ReaderBrodric MartinKyle Peko
DLAlim McNeillLevi OnwuzurikeMekhi Wingo (R)
EDGEJohn CominskyMarcus DavenportJames Houston
LBDerrick BarnesSteele Chambers (R)
LBAlex AnzaloneJalen Reeves-Maybin
LBJack CampbellMalcolm RodriguezDaRon Gilbert (R)
CB1Carlton DavisAmik RobertsonKhalil Dorsey
CB2Terrion Arnold (R)Emmanuel MoseleyKindle Vildor
SCBBrian BranchEnnis Rakestraw Jr. (R)Morice Norris (R)
FSKerby JosephC.J. MooreChelen Garnes (R)
SSIfeatu MelifonwuBrandon JosephLoren Strickland (R)

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Detroit Lions Off-season Review

Continuity was a theme in Detroit this off-season, as Jared Goff, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Penei Sewell all got deserved contract extensions. General Manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell also got new deals. The entire Lions offensive coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, returns intact. Detroit will also only have one new offensive starter in offensive guard Kevin Zeitler. A free agent signing from Baltimore, Zeitler is slated to start at right guard, while Graham Glasgow will take over for Jonah Jackson at left guard. Jackson signed with the Rams in free agency, and started only 12 games due to injury.

Graham Glasgow was re-signed to start at left guard after playing well this past season as a fill-in starter. Glasgow didn’t come into the season with high expectations, but he stepped in nicely for Jackson when he got injured. He even started at center when Frank Ragnow was out of the lineup. Christian Mahogany and Sione Vaki are the only rookies on the team expected to compete immediately for backup spots (at guard and runningback, respectively). Vaki could also contribute on special teams early on.

While the offense returns largely intact, the defense received some much needed upgrades. Defensive tackle D.J.Reader, a free agent signing from Cincinnati, is one of the best run-stuffers in the NFL. Reader was an important piece to Cincinnati’s run defense, and he will boost an already strong front. Edge rusher Marcus Davenportย signed a one year deal in free agency and will provide depth opposite Aidan Hutchinson. Sixth round defensive tackle Mekhi Wingoย should be a rotational interior pass rusher as a rookie.

Cornerback was a major weakness this past season, and the pass defense was one of the worst in the NFL. Detroit aggressively attacked the position, kicking off free agency by trading a 2024 3rd round pick to Tampa Bay for Carlton Davis. Davis will hold down one of the starting spots on the outside, and was an excellent addition. First round pick Terrion Arnold should be the other starter opposite Davis. Arnold was the top cornerback on many teams’ Draft boards, but fell due to the run on offensive players. Free agent signing Amik Robertson and second round pickย Ennis Rakestraw Jr. give Detroit quality depth, and both are capable of playing either outside or in the slot. Rakestraw Jr. is slightly undersized, and can be overly aggressive at times, but he could’ve easily gone higher.

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