The Detroit Lions have the opportunity to make some transformational moves this offseason to take their team over the top, and right now, Jalen Ramsey is at the top of the list.
Detroit is abuzz with thoughts of a deal for Ramsey in the coming days, and many have begun to make the case that the team could use a top-end addition like the cornerback to take the team to the next level.
One such person is former Lions head coach Marty Mornhinwheg. Writing for The 33rd Team, Mornhinwheg explained that Detroit is already in good shape in terms of what they are building for the future. Why? The team has established and plays hard, but they need a few more stars.
“They’ve already got some. And they’ve got a heck of a coaching staff, led by defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. They play hard. They’re prepared. They put the hard work in. They just need some top-flight players,” he wrote in the piece.
So who is a top-flight player that fits the bill? According to Mornhinwheg, the answer is none other than Ramsey, who could be a good start in terms of an impact player to come in and do damage.
“They need to go out and acquire one or two impact players. Let’s say, for example, Jalen Ramsey of the Los Angeles Rams, his presence alone vaults that defense up in the standings, which equals more wins,” Mornhinwheg said in the piece.
A former coach of the Lions, Mornhinwheg put up a 5-27 record in two seasons leading Detroit in 2001 and 2002. He was fired in 2003, but has been a successful offensive coordinator in the league with stops in San Francisco, Philadelphia and Baltimore in those roles. Following his stay in Detroit, he was not a head coach again.
Mornhinwheg knows what makes a team, and he seems to think the Lions would be in good shape to turn the corner permanently if they had an elite player like Ramsey in the mix.
Early Odds Make Lions a Favorite for Jalen Ramsey
Where do the Lions stand right now in terms of a Ramsey addition? A glance at the early odds show the Lions as one of the two favorites to land him early in the process.
A fresh analyst from OddsChecker.com took a look at the odds, and they showed that the Lions are not the current favorites for Ramsey. That status belonged to the Las Vegas Raiders, who are even odds, which implies a 50% chance at landing Ramsey.
Detroit isn’t far behind, however, with +125 odds to land Ramsey, which is an implied 44.4% chance at the Pro Bowl cornerback. No other team was close, with the Cincinnati Bengals coming in third at +900, or only a 10% chance at a deal.
As Kyle Newman of OddsChecker wrote, it could be seen as a bit surprising that Ramsey doesn’t have better odds elsewhere, but that might only point to the fact that these pair of teams are the frontrunners.
“Jalen Ramsey has an argument for being the best cornerback in the NFL. One would expect his market to be robust, but the books don’t see it that way. The Raiders and Lions are the only teams given a real chance to get him, with the Bengals an outsider looking in. It’s the smallest market for any would me moved player this offseason. Saquon Barkley, Derek Carr, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson, and Justin Fields all have bigger markets. Is that because the Rams are making progress on a move, or is it because there just isn’t much interest in the soon to be 29 year old CB?,” Newman wrote in analyzing the odds.
Las Vegas and Detroit as potential frontrunners makes sense, given those teams have been seen as the most active in Ramsey’s market early on. Clearly, they like Ramsey and the oddsmakers agree there could be a match between those teams.
Jalen Ramsey Fits Within Lions’ Defense
Given the needs of a struggling Lions defense in the 2022 season, Ramsey could be seen as a breath of fresh air for the team.
Routinely, The Lions struggled to stop big plays in the backfield. The team finished 32nd in total defense this past season, and struggled against both the run and the pass. Against the run, they finished 29th with a total of 2,491 yards allowed and 22 touchdowns.
In the secondary, these problems seemed to be the greatest most of the year. As a result, cornerback could be on the menu for the Lions early and often due to the fact that the team finished 30th in the league in pass defense, allowing 4,179 yards through the air.
Any available veteran cornerbacks that fit the scheme are sure to attract interest from the team as a result of this, both in free agency and via trade. The team is also figured to scour a deep draft class as well for more young talent.
More than veteran corners, though, the Lions could benefit from a true superstar at the position. At 28 years old, Ramsey has a few solid years left and could help the Lions as they push into their contention window. He could help a young defense not only with leadership, but elite play.
Mornhinwheg seems to understand that the Lions need a player like Ramsey to begin to take the next step on the field. That’s why he is advocating for the trade at this point in time.