Ranking Top Post-Free Agency Needs for Lions During NFL Draft

Nakobe Dean

Getty Nakobe Dean pursues an Alabama player during the 2021 SEC Championship.

Free agency has been going on for a few weeks now, and it’s become clear that the Detroit Lions aren’t going to be big spenders or large players the rest of the way. With that in mind, it’s probably time for fans to turn their attention back to the NFL draft.

Detroit still has some major needs that have not changed even as a result of their work in free agency, and the draft will be the time the Lions can step up and find some solutions to their longer-standing problems on the roster in terms of development.

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Though the Lions have made moves at several key spots, major holes still exist there that shouldn’t prevent the team from making major additions in order to help their future look brighter.

Wide Receiver

While the Lions added a player who figures to be a major weapon and a good part of the offense in 2022 in the form of DJ Chark, there is no question the Lions still need a young option to bring along in the group. Arguably, the biggest problem the Lions had in 2021 was depth. Once injuries piled up, Detroit had so few players to step up they were seemingly thin all season long. That can’t be the case this coming year, and with some of the players expected back and players already on the roster, it might not play out that way. The Lions have a potential star in Amon-Ra St. Brown and locked up good role players in Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond. None of that prevents another impact player from being added.

Now, the Lions have to prioritize the wideout position with another early pick, somewhere in rounds one through three. The 2022 class is very deep, so the team should be able to find a player that complements all of their on-roster contributors well.


Detroit’s defense has struggled in major ways the last few years, and perhaps the biggest spot that needs an infusion of talent is at linebacker. The Lions brought back Alex Anzalone as well as signed Jarrad Davis. While those players can be solid role players for the team, the Lions need to find some star power at the position. The team hopes to have found some in the form of Derrick Barnes, their 2021 pick. The Lions would be best served to keep building at this position, though. One of the better prospects they could turn to for this kind of help would be Georgia’s Nakobe Dean.

Best LB in College Football || Georgia LB Nakobe Dean 2021 Highlights ᴴᴰSubscribe, Like this Video & Turn On Notifications! (↓↓ click show more ↓↓) Instagram: instagram.com/justbombsproductions/ Twitter: twitter.com/JBP_Official Patreon: patreon.com/justbombsproductions Facebook: facebook.com/Just-Bombs-Productions-255863801590167/ Georgia LB Nakobe Dean Junior 6’0 225 lbs After the rookie season Micah Parsons just had for the Cowboys, teams will be looking for that defensive player who is all over the field. Georgia…2022-02-02T00:00:00Z

Whether it’s Dean or someone else, the Lions need linebacker help and some definite thump at the position. The free agency moves were a decent start for depth’s sake, but the Lions can’t continue to have an average linebacking group and expect to win games.

Defensive Line

Spending hasn’t happened on the defensive line outside the smart move to bring back Charles Harris, who earned his money with a solid 7.5 sack season for Detroit. It has long been understood that the Lions were probably going to do some heavy lifting in the draft at the spot, whether that means taking a talented player early on or one perhaps a bit further down the board. Detroit will depend on the healthy return of Romeo Okwara and the emergence of Julian Okwara to give their pass rush some pump, but an elite prospect could be a nice way to get things rolling in the right direction more firmly. This is still a huge need for the Lions relative to who they have on the roster and who they have added.


Signing a young player with tons of upside like the Lions did with youngster Mike Hughes is a good start at a spot where depth is a must. Still, more is needed for the Lions in the second level. Many might point to safety as the neediest spot, and the Lions could also make a signing there. Cornerback feels like the more pressing need, however, because of what the Lions are dealing with from an injury standpoint. Both Jeff Okudah and surprising standout Jerry Jacobs are recovering off tough injuries. How ready will they be? It looks as if Amani Oruwariye is going to be an elite player, but the Lions could need more depth at the spot in order to ensure that the team will have the best chance at winning.


Perhaps the most controversial need for the Lions, the likelihood of the Lions making a big play at the position seems to have taken at least a slight hit with the returns of Tim Boyle and David Blough for 2022. The Lions could also prioritize a quarterback early on, but the better bet is them spending a later pick on the position if they do at all. Regardless, quarterback is still a need for the team. The Lions need to find a way to get a young player at the position to develop for the future at some point. It feels like a major need for the Lions this year even in spite of what they have on the roster given how things have gone.

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