Analyst Raises Valid ‘Burning Question’ About Lions’ 2022 Defense

Tracy Walker

Getty Tracy Walker after a Lions loss to the Vikings in 2021.

This offseason, the Detroit Lions started with many questions as it relates to their roster and 2022 future, and not many have been answered after some modest spending during the free agency period.

What comes next for the Lions in the draft is a huge concern for fans, and the team needs to take steps to make sure that things change in a big way before the season begins. Questions are still swirling about what needs to happen for the team, and a major one revolves around what Detroit decides to do on defense.

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In a process with several burning questions, this one seems to stand out, and that’s true according to NFL.com and writer Kevin Patra. In a recent piece, Patra looked at burning questions for every team in the league and unsurprisingly, when it came to the Lions, defense was the spot that attracted the most attention. Specifically, have the Lions made enough fixes and can they make enough in time to improve one of the worst units in the league?

Patra sees the team as having made lower-key moves that could pay off for depth, but not having added enough firepower to change a group which struggled, leading to questions.

“In the more immediate future, will one of the worst defenses in the NFL show improvement without a big-name veteran addition?,” Patra wrote in the piece.

The Lions didn’t go big name hunting and that doesn’t figure to change at all this offseason, thus, seeing if the team can find a way to find more players in the draft and get their young players to come along will be the biggest variables in Detroit next year.

Until it happens, though, it’s going to be a big-time question that continues to hound the team.


Lions Defense Hasn’t Seen Major Offseason Improvements

In terms of what the Lions have done to improve a middling defense, the team hasn’t made many dramatic moves. The Lions have only re-signed players such as edge rusher Charles Harris, safety Tracy Walker and linebacker Alex Anzalone. All of those players were present on a Detroit defense that suffered miserably in 2021 on the field and was wildly inconsistent. Outside move-wise, the Lions only added cornerback Mike Hughes, linebackers Chris Board and Jarrad Davis. None of those moves would qualify as significant in the end, or perhaps enough to get an average team over the hump for sustained results in 2022.

In terms of getting people to believe the narrative will change in 2022, that is a tough ask given what has happened this offseason. Detroit is returning almost the same group that struggled to a 29th overall finish last year in total defense. On the surface, that isn’t great at all.


Detroit Could Draft for Defense Multiple Times

The Lions have nine picks with which to operate in the 2022 NFL draft, and it doesn’t seem like a bad bet to assume that most of them will be on the defensive side of the ball, especially after watching how the Lions operated in 2021. Last season, Brad Holmes and company made sure to hit that side of the ball incredibly hard, selecting defensive players in four out of seven picks the team had. That points to a front office that does understand which side of the ball will be most vital to them and their eventual turnaround for the 2022 season and beyond. With more holes, the Lions could go defense with even more picks in order to get more players for their future and present.

With the group as a major question, it seems that would be a virtual must at this point in time for the future of the team.

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