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The Lions did not make any egregious signings in free agency. Some of their moves outside the organization were also very appealing to me. D.J. Chark was brought in on a $10 million, one-year deal. This gives Jared Goff an important wideout to play alongside Amon Ra St. Brown. Mike Hughes and DeShon Ell provide valuable depth and could be used as starters in the secondary.
Detroit drafted well. The Jaguars drafted Travon Walker at No.1 and let the Lions steal Michigan’s star Aidan Hutchinson at No. 2. I don’t think trading up is a good idea for a rebuilding squad — most advanced value charts had Detroit Round 1 trade starting at No. 32 to No. 12 was a minor win for the Vikings. Still, it’s fair to say that the Lions paid less than other teams to move up to capture Alabama wideout Jameson Williams. Williams will end up being the best receiver in this draft.
The Lions now have some of the most exciting young offensive talents in the league. Although it may not be exciting to imagine them in an offense where Dan Campbell calls plays and Goff throws the Football, the Lions will already have the majority of their offensive building blocks in place if they take a big swing at a quarterback in 2023. With T.J., Chark, Brown and Williams, D’Andre Swift, Williams, D’Andre Swift, and T.J.
What went wrong? While I admire Detroit’s patience, are we sure that the best thing after a 3-13-1 year is to double down on signing Lions players? Chark is the only player that they should have guaranteed a starting job in Week 1. He’s also a free agent following the season. Although it’s possible that there weren’t many available free agents who were willing to go to rebuilding teams, I find it surprising that Detroit didn’t try harder to find bargains after the first few weeks of free agency. Check out the top new sportsbooks for betting on the NFL!
What they could do differently: Williams, an exciting prospect, could have been drafted at No. 32 and one of many quality wideouts this class.
Next: Hockenson can be eligible for an extension. While injuries prevented him from building on his 2020 campaign, he’s been good enough that a substantial deal could be made. Holmes is from the Rams, known for being aggressive in signing their first-round picks following their third season. I don’t think it would surprise me if Hockenson gets a Lions deal this summer. They should be considering a four-year extension of Hockenson’s $60 million contract after being granted his fifth-year option in 2023.
Conclusion: Overall I think the Lions are headed in the right direction and finally have the right people in place in the Front Office. If ownership is patient and gives them time the Lions could be a contender in a year or two. I think the Lions could win 6 or 7 games this season and with Coach Campbell running the show I think the Lions are in good hands, finally!
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