The Detroit Lions already have plenty of competition up front on defense, but ahead of training camp, the team decided to add a little bit more to the mix.
Before the opening of camp, the team is rolling the dice on giving defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs a chance to shine and earn a spot on the roster for the 2022 season.
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On Friday, July 22, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network first revealed the Lions would be signing Buggs to a deal.
“The Lions are signing former Steelers DL Isaiah Buggs, per source. Buggs appeared in 29 games for Pittsburgh from 2019-21 before joining the Raiders during the playoffs in January,” Pelissero tweeted.
Buggs will have to scrap to earn a role in Detroit given the depth the Lions have up front, but at 25 years old, he is still the right age for the team. Detroit likes to roll the dice on young talents, and Buggs has that going for him in a big way as he joins the roster.
Buggs’ Career Stats & Highlights
Adding Buggs is an interesting move for the Lions given where he has played in college and in the NFL. Buggs was a 2019 sixth-round pick of the Steelers out of Alabama, and played in Pittsburgh until his release late in the 2021 season.
Buggs then latched on with the Las Vegas Raiders for the 2022 postseason, but was not re-signed. In college, Buggs won a National Champion in 2017 with the Crimson Tide and was a productive player with 103 tackles and 11.0 sacks in college. In the pros, Buggs only has 31 tackles and one pass defended to his credit. Here’s a look at some highlights:
Buggs should still have plenty of upside as well as NFL experience within a solid defense. To that end, he could be an intriguing addition for the Lions if he can push for a role and show himself to be a force this camp period.
Lions Defensive Line Is Deep for 2022
Before the move to sign Buggs, Detroit had already added interesting pieces to the mix that figure to help them in a big way on defense, especially up front. The Lions will have Romeo Okwara coming back off injury, and witnessed the emergence of his brother Julian Okwara in 2021.
Additionally, Detroit has 2021 picks Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill looking primed to take their next steps.
In the 2022 NFL draft, the team added Aidan Hutchinson and Josh Paschal, who figure to be instant contributors. Sixth-round pick James Houston may also offer something. Michael Brockers, if he sticks, and Charles Harris return to provide some punch up front, and young players like Jashon Cornell and 2021 camp standout Bruce Hector will also be scrapping for roles. Add it up and the position is very deep.
Buggs now has a chance to earn some type of a role in Detroit, and to sign him before camp, the Lions must believe in him at this point in time.