The Detroit Lions have endured an up and down start to the 2019 season, and while they will be the first to emphasize it isn’t over yet, it’s possible the team could need a big move to shake things up in order to achieve their goals and stay in the race for the next few weeks.
Defensively, the Lions have not brought the goods thus far this season. They need a big turnaround in order to make it happen, and that turnaround might have to come up front, where the team cannot generate big plays or pressure the pocket consistently enough.
What players do the Lions need to look at first and foremost to make this happen? Here’s a look at some of the names the team should be calling about in the coming week.
Von Miller, DE/LB
If the Lions are serious about contending and taking a big swing in order to do so, they need to look to Miller and see if he is out there for a trade. It might not be possible seeing as Miller is an elite talent and the current face of his franchise, but if the Broncos are going to be selling off other Pro Bowlers, the Lions need to make the call on Miller. He’s an elite talent who could help Detroit’s pass rush problem in a major way right now. With this type of trade, the Lions could turn around their 2019 season and be a force into the future. With such a major lack of pass rush and the team needing to go for it, Miller needs to be the first call the team makes and a good fit. That’s true even if the Broncos say no or the demands are so high. Miller could have a Khalil Mack effect on the Detroit defense if he was added to the mix.
Kenyan Drake, RB
Detroit might already have interest in Drake as explained last week, but it’s clear the offense could use a little big of a jolt, especially at the running back spot. That’s where Drake comes in. He’s been a solid talent for the last few seasons and could give the Detroit offense a bit of a leg up in terms of being more consistent on the ground and through the air. Drake, if he could be had for a middle round pick, would be a nice
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Ryan Kerrigan, DE/LB
The Redskins are going nowhere this season and someone like Kerrigan could make a ton of sense for the Lions in terms of an impact pass rusher. At 31, Kerrigan is getting older, but he could come cheaper than someone like Miller and still give the Lions some solid snaps in terms of a pass rush. He’d be a nice fit for Detroit’s scheme as well, and someone who would add a stable veteran influence to the locker room. The Lions could do a lot worse than adding someone like Kerrigan to the mix.
Vic Beasley, DE/LB
With 31 sacks in his career, Beasley has been a solid pass rusher thus far during his short time in the league. He’s fallen out of favor in Atlanta, and the Lions could pounce here to get the 27 year old into the mix in order to rejuvenate his career. There is no doubt Beasley has talent. Finding the right way to harness it might be the biggest challenge. A change in scenery could help, and Matt Patricia could be a guy who gets a ton out of a player like Beasley, turning a move like this into a steal. It’s a name Lions fans should keep on the radar given his big talent.
Yannick Ngakoue, DE
Another elite pass rusher, Ngakoue is on an expiring deal, but if the Lions want to get him into the fold now in order to help for 2019, they might find coughing up an asset to be not that big of a deal. Ngakoue is another young player who has piled up the sacks that could come in and help Detroit immensely in terms of being able to rush the passer. He’s young, tough and a guy Matt Patricia would know from the AFC. With Jacksonville selling off assets, it’s possible they will look into this one as well. The Lions have to make the call given their relative inability to pressure the pocket.