The Detroit Lions have been very busy in free agency making plenty of moves big and small in order to try and reshape their roster for the 2020 season.
There’s been a bevy of moves for the team, and plenty of things to consider and break down after the dust has settled early in the period. Plenty of moves have been solid, but which have been the best of the best?
Here’s a look at ranking the top signings for the Lions during the free agency period thus far.
Lions Sign Defensive Tackle Danny Shelton
This is quite possibly Detroit’s best move of free agency given how well Shelton fits the team’s defensive scheme and how attractive his 2 year contract is. Shelton played his best football in the New England scheme, and he’s going to get a chance to do that with the Lions and Matt Patricia. Shelton is still young at 26, and this is a player who could anchor the middle of the Lions’ line for the near future. A bargain signing that has a chance to turn out extremely well for Detroit. The Lions have needed a player capable of eating space just like Shelton can do, and getting him gives the team some depth in the trenches.
Lions Sign Cornerback Desmond Trufant
The Lions needed to make a play at cornerback, and Trufant is a big play player in the secondary that can help the Lions account for the loss of Darius Slay at the position. Perhaps people would have felt more comfortable with Slay and Trufant, but the fact is, the Lions can still add to their backfield in the draft. Trufant is a solid player and still has plenty left to give. He can be the type of solid man corner that Matt Patricia craves in his scheme. The Lions needed to get one solid player to come into the mix at the spot prior to the draft, and Trufant seems like a guy who could turn over a new leaf in a new scenario. The talent is obviously there.
Lions Aquire Safety Duron Harmon
Harmon didn’t come in free agency, of course, but he was added to the team during their initial flurry during the first week of the league opening their year. Dealing for Harmon gives the Lions a proven player to rely on in their defensive backfield. He’s one of the best leaders in football and the Detroit defense immediately becomes better with his presence. Additionally, he also knows the system and has experience with Matt Patricia, so it will be big to add him to the mix and keep him there on the back end for the Lions.
Lions Sign Linebacker Jamie Collins
The Lions needed to upgrade their linebacker spot, and finally made a big free agent move to be able to do so. They targeted Collins, who’s had success in the New England defense before. The only concern here? Collins fell flat when he went to Cleveland before, so he hasn’t tasted much success outside of the friendly confines of Foxboro. That’s cause for a bit of concern as is the fact Collins is going to be on the wrong side of 30, but the fact is, he does fit the team’s defense well and should be able to comfortably fit in.
Lions Sign Linebacker Reggie Ragland
If there was ever an under the radar move, this was it. Ragland comes to Detroit with little fanfare even as a player who won a Super Bowl last season. Ragland was traded for next to nothing to the Chiefs and had a solid season. In Detroit, Ragland could be a great fit considering his ability to play strong in the middle and give the team some depth at a key spot on the roster. His defensive fit could be quietly ideal in Detroit.