The Detroit Lions have shopped confidently thus far in free agency, and that’s led the team to be able to check off several needs already for lower prices a few weeks into the offseason.
Even though the first frenzied wave of free agency has come and gone, there are still plenty of players who could make sense as depth buys for the franchise to help very needy spots for the team. While the Lions should have a chance to be a bit better on offense, they might need a few more defenders to help them round out the roster ahead of the NFL Draft.
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In terms of the market, there are still some great players left for the Lions to try and nab to round out the offseason. Obviously, the team can’t sign everyone, but they should be looking to add a few more key pieces for the roster in order to help things out for next season.
What players make the most sense now? Here’s a look at the best remaining fits for the Lions.
Casey Hayward, Cornerback, Los Angeles Chargers
Hayward was a surprise release prior to the free agency period, and is a player who at 31 years old could be a key piece in a backfield for a team looking for a veteran leader. The Lions could be one such team after shaving all their veteran cornerbacks in recent days. With 385 tackles and 23 interceptions, Hayward is a sneaky productive option and a team like Detroit should be all-eyes given his ability to defend the pass and perhaps also serve as a major leader for their young cornerbacks already on the roster. The Lions haven’t added much at cornerback, and there is a connection with Anthony Lynn to rely on here.
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Avery Williamson, Linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers
A former fifth-round pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2014, Williamson has been productive in his short time in the league with over 600 tackles, 15.5 sacks, 4 interceptions and 5 forced fumbles. There has been no question that Williamson deserves another shot in the league and looked like a key accusation by the Steelers from the Jets last season. The Lions need some help and thump at linebacker, and a productive player like this could help provide it in a big way.
Trai Turner, Guard, Los Angeles Chargers
Detroit could be done for now on offense after some value buys at wideout, tight end and running back, but there’s no question that the team could still use a bit of depth up front. Enter a guy like Turner, who has a history of being a tough player and a physical member of a team up front. Like many of the guys on this list, Anthony Lynn will have experience with Turner and could see him as an ideal depth fit. The Lions have some depth at guard, but they might want to see the position solidified next to Jonah Jackson. At 28, Turner has the right mix of youth and talent to get this done and may accept a short-term deal to boost his stock in a place like Detroit, making him a win-win option for the Lions.
Kwon Alexander, Linebacker, New Orleans Saints
The former Saints linebacker was a recent release and is a player on the inside who would know Dan Campbell as well as Aaron Glenn. Alexander is 28 years old and a tough player who can be gritty in the middle and pile up the tackles. Alexander has put up 471 tackles, 8.5 sacks and 7 interceptions. He played only one year in New Orleans, but he could have made an impression on the coaches who defected for Detroit. Adding Alexander could give the team a leg up in terms of toughness in the second level and the Lions could benefit from another young body at the spot.
Melvin Ingram, Linebacker, Los Angeles Chargers
Ingram has been a solid player in the NFL for a long time, and has done all his work since coming into the league as a first-round pick out of South Carolina in 2012. Since, Ingram has been a three-time Pro Bowl player, cracking the game from 2017 to 2019. He’s piled up 360 tackles during his time in the league as well as 49 sacks, making him a solid edge rusher. Ingram has also forced 14 fumbles, collected 3 interceptions and scored 1 touchdown. Ingram could be the best way to bring this group together.