The Detroit Lions have had a frustrating season on the field in 2019, but in spite of the disappointment of several of the losses, the team still has some key players to build around for the 2020 season and beyond.
While the Lions have plenty to do in terms of roster building, the good news for them is they already have plenty of good players in the mix that they will be able to count on to round out their roster.
Which players are the biggest building blocks for the team moving forward? Here’s a look at the list.
Darius Slay, CB
While Slay has been dinged up this season and hasn’t exactly put up the kind of elite numbers fans are accustomed to, there is little doubt about the significance of him to the team. It will be interesting to see if the Lions decide to make a move with Slay, but if they don’t, there is little doubt about how good he is for the backfield and the team as a whole. He’s been a leader this season and stepped into the mix. The Lions would be better served to build around Slay and help him out rather than force him out of town. To this end, he remains the most significant defensive building block on the team.
Kenny Golladay, WR
Golladay has enjoyed a hot 2019 season on the field, and with it, he has made his case that he is someone to take seriously in the future as one of the best young wideouts in the game. He makes contested catches, scores touchdowns and is becoming an elite leader in the locker room as well. He also isn’t afraid to mix it up in the trenches. Golladay is the type of player an entire offense can be built around, and the Lions are lucky to be developing him. He’s one of the biggest positives about next season already simply given what he has done.
Trey Flowers, DE
Flowers, after a slow start, has turned it on in a big way and now could finish the season with double digit sacks if he manages to get hot and stay healthy on the field near the end of the year. The Lions need that in a dramatic way given what they spent on Flowers as well. Regardless of how he finishes the season, count on Flowers hanging around and making a big impact and being a solid building block for the pass rush. The team needs to find major help around him, but having Flowers in the mix will help the defense moving forward.
T.J. Hockenson, TE
Even though Hockenson hasn’t been a huge touchdown threat this year, he’s had his share of solid plays for the offense and manages to move the ball effectively in the passing game. Hockenson also is solid as a blocker and gets after it up front. An up and down rookie season isn’t uncommon, and at the very least, the Lions now have to know that they have a guy at tight end they can build around for the future. That’s great news for the team moving forward, because it’s been a need.
Matthew Stafford, QB
Any Lions fan on the fence about Stafford should have learned a ton about what the franchise is without him this season amid his back injury, and as a result, Stafford remains a player on this list as someone the team can count on to be a major piece of their future moving forward. He was playing at arguably an MVP level this season before injury in a new offense, and there’s nothing to say Stafford can’t do that again with a healthier start to 2020. As a result, he remains entrenched on this list easily.
Tracy Walker, S
It’s become clear with Walker’s play that he has earned the trust of the coaching staff and for good reason. Besides Walker, nobody bothers to cover tight ends on the roster better, and he is a guy who can be a potential lynch pin for the defense moving forward. The secondary has been miserable without Walker, so that only helps to prove his overall importance to the team when all is said and done. The Lions have a solid piece in Walker to build around in the second level providing they can only keep him healthy.