The Detroit Lions look to have a roster ready to start the 2020 season for the most part after a busy offseason, but there are still a few moves the team could make in order to try and get over the hump for next season.
Detroit has improved on both sides of the ball, but there are plenty of players who would still provide a boost to a defense which seems to be in need of a few additional pieces to completely turn things around.
Which players should be next to come into the mix? Here’s a look at some names on the market that could make a big difference for Detroit late in free agency.
Everson Griffen, Defensive Line
Griffen, to this point in his career, has been one of the most dynamic players up front in the league with 355 tackles and 74.5 career sacks. He’s 32 years old, but has proven himself as a dynamic defender capable of wreaking havoc. Griffen’s sack total of 8 from 2019 would have been the highest on the entire Lions defense itself.
More than this, Griffen has always been a thorn in Detroit’s side. In his career, he has consistently exposed the Lions’ offensive line to the tune of 16 career sacks, the most of any team he has ever played in the league. If the Lions can’t beat Griffen, they may as well try to sign him in order to get more production up front and prevent their own quarterback from getting hammered in the process. Griffen might make the most sense out of anyone on the list for a potential boom addition for the team.
Logan Ryan, Cornerback
The Lions have added Desmond Trufant into the mix in addition to Jeff Okudah, but subtracted Darius Slay, which undoubtably leaves a major hole in the team’s backfield. So what next? A guy like Ryan is an interesting possibility given his scheme fit within Detroit’s defense and with Matt Patricia. Ryan might be looking for a big number on the open market still and hasn’t signed anywhere to this point in time in spite of swirling rumors, but if the Lions are able to get him to budge a little bit, it could be beneficial for their defense to add another solid cover corner for the scheme.
In his career, Ryan has put up 491 tackles and 17 interceptions and is a player who could make a big impact giving a team like the Lions some needed depth.
Marcell Dareus, Defensive Tackle
Outside of drafting John Penisini, the Lions didn’t add anything in the interior of their defensive line during the NFL Draft. They’re depending on big things from Danny Shelton who should help, but if the team needed another space eater, a guy like Dareus could make plenty of sense as an addition. 365 tackles and 37.5 sacks are solid numbers for the big man in the middle, and he could be an interesting addition to the Lions front which could provide some depth and playmaking ability.
Markus Golden, Edge
The Lions were rumored to potentially be in the mix for Golden in addition to the Giants. He’s not signed anywhere yet, and remains a free agent. Adding Golden would be interesting for the Lions considering he could give them a bit of additional punch along with their draft pick Julian Okwara. Golden had a great season in 2019 with the Giants netting 10 sacks, and that type of production in Detroit would make him an instant star up front. 29 career sacks paint the picture of a guy who can get after it in a big way up front, and a potential great value at 29 years old on the open market.
Mike Daniels, Defensive Line
Daniels signed in Detroit just before the start of the 2019 season and didn’t play a huge role for the team thanks to injury, but he has been open about appreciating the Detroit locker room and what the team was trying to accomplish. If the team needed some depth and wanted to roll the dice on him being healthy, Daniels could certainly add some veteran depth to the middle of the line. If he were to be healthy, he could give the Lions what they were looking for last season before injury ended up striking.