Analyst Names Lions a Fit for Top Potential NFL Free Agent

Arik Armstead

Getty Arik Armstead celebrates a big play.

The Detroit Lions have had a miserable season, especially on defense. So how might they turn around their fortunes in 2020?

Recently, a profile was written on Arik Armstead, a potential free agent to be who currently plays for the San Francisco 49ers. Armstead is a defensive end and a top pass rusher, and recently, ESPN’s Michael Rothstein admitted on Twitter that he’s someone the Lions could use when free agency comes around next spring.

Armstead is slated to be a free agent, and might be arguably the top option on the market in 2020 for teams looking for tough defense and a major pass rush presence. The Lions could be in the market for both of those elements given what’s happened on the field this year.


Arik Armstead’s Career Stats

After being a first round pick of the 49ers in 2015 out of Oregon, Armstead has had an up and down career to this point. He collected only 9 sacks during his first four years in the league, but in 2019, has exploded for 10 sacks and looked the part of a dynamic pass rusher in a contract year,

Armstead, as a whole, has put up 136 tackles, 19 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in his career to this point in time. While he hasn’t lived up to the billing, he’s the kind of player who has been an untapped gem for a Matt Patricia defense before.

San Francisco picked up his option for 2019, and that decision was rewarded. Will they reward Armstead with a new deal or let him walk? It seems like he will be a safe bet to head to free agency and get a new deal from someone else on the market.


Arik Armstead’s Fit With Lions

Detroit cannot pressure the quarterback meaningfully in 2019, and that is a glaring problem given what the team has done to add to the front in recent months and years. Part of the problem has been injury, but beyond Trey Flowers and Da’Shawn Hand, the Lions simply don’t have any young building blocks they can count on right now. The team has to find some form of consistency in the trenches, and that is why it’s a major need for them moving forward.

If the free agency period were taking place today, the Lions would have to target some type of defensive end or pass rush specialist highly. Without a few impact players here in 2020, it’s tough to imagine the Lions turning their defensive fortunes around.

Detroit invested heavily on the defensive line in 2019, signing Trey Flowers to provide a pass rush. While Flowers has been good more often than not, he and Devon Kennard need another running mate. If the Lions can’t land Chase Young in the draft, pairing another draft pick and someone like Armstead together could be a sneaky good second option for the offseason in order to fix a huge problem for the team.

Armstead, if available, could help turn around Detroit’s disastrous defense.

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