The Detroit Lions have done a solid job building their roster throughout the early part of the 2023 offseason, but work remains for a team that expects to take the next step this season.
It might seem as if free agency is over, but in many aspects, it’s just begun for teams that want to scour the market for deals and potential steals to help in rounding out their roster with quality depth.
The Lions have scored in this vein before, and they could look to do so again in 2023. With many of the big names off the board and plenty of cap space, there are options for the Lions to help their roster. Some of these options are players the team will know, as well.
Who should be next on the shopping list for Detroit? Here’s a look at some of the names Detroit should be zeroing in on the rest of the way.
Leonard Floyd, Los Angeles Rams Edge
If the Lions are looking for a player that can boost up their pass rush, Leonard Floyd could very well be their best bet left on the market in terms of fit.
With the Bears, his career started hot, with 15.5 sacks in three years with the team. In 2019, Floyd had a down year in Chicago with just three sacks, and was released in the offseason. After being picked up by the Rams, though, Floyd showed his old chops rushing the passer. In 2020, Floyd put up 10.5 sacks for Los Angeles, and never posted fewer than nine sacks in a season for the team.
Floyd helped the Rams to a Super Bowl 56 win, and has 340 tackles and 47.5 career sacks to his credit along with three forced fumbles and two interceptions. He also has two defensive touchdowns to his credit.
Adding Floyd could be a good way for the Lions to address a potential vacuum in terms of pass rush and veteran leadership on the defensive line.
Poona Ford, Seattle Seahawks DL
In past years, the Lions have settled for underrated buys on the market, and in terms of one on the line this year, Poona Ford could be that guy. That’s especially true given he still lingers on the market.
Coming into the league undrafted out of Texas in 2018, Ford made his mark in a big way with 164 tackles, 6.5 sacks and one forced fumble. He’s the kind of grinder that could fill a quality role for the team and offer consistent snaps given his NFL experience.
Ford is an intriguing player, and he seems to have the grinder mindset the Lions will love up front on defense. He would fit the locker room well and could offer way more production for a cheaper price up front.
Marvin Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars WR
Detroit has brought back players they are familiar with this offseason in Jalen Reeves-Maybin as well as Graham Glasgow. Why not do it again with Marvin Jones at receiver?
After signing with the Lions in the 2016 offseason, Jones enjoyed some very productive seasons with the Lions, posting a total of 4,296 yards and 36 touchdowns with the Lions in five seasons. After signing with the Jaguars in 2021, things have not gone as productively for the pass catcher, given just 1,361 yards, seven touchdowns and 119 receptions in Jacksonville.
At 33, nobody would confuse Jones with a long-term option for the team. He does like Detroit, however, and could offer the Lions some major stability at a position on the field where they need some help following the departure of DJ Chark to Carolina.
If there’s one veteran the Lions should consider bringing back to help mentor their young players, it’s Jones. He could give the team some solid pass catching while also providing the roster with the kind of leadership it needs right now.
A’Shawn Robinson, Los Angeles Rams DT
Like Jones before him, A’Shawn Robinson is a former player that the front office should have a good understanding of, and that makes him an intriguing candidate for a re-signing as well.
Robinson, a former second-round pick of the Lions, started his career with the team from 2016-2019. After that point, he was let go in free agency, but signed by Los Angeles for 2020. At that time, Brad Holmes was in the Rams’ front office.
In terms of production, Robinson had that on his side with the Lions, too. In four seasons with the Lions, Robinson posted 172 tackles and five sacks to go with three forced fumbles and one interception. After going to the Rams, Robinson only posted two sacks, 121 tackles and two forced fumbles in three years.
During his college career in Alabama, it’s fair to remember that Robinson was a clear force:
Bringing Robinson back to offer some punch in the middle of the line could be an interesting move for the Lions, and something which pays dividends given his veteran experience at a spot of need up front.