Lions’ 2022 Offseason Blueprint: How Detroit Goes Worst to First

Jalen Reeves-Maybin

Getty Jalen Reeves-Maybin celebrates the Lions win over Green Bay in 2022.

The 2022 NFL offseason is set to be in full swing and there are no shortage of ways the Detroit Lions could approach things to keep the momentum going as it relates to their rebuild.

With many avenues for success, what does the team have to do in order to turn things around more completely? The answers could be complicated, but fortunately, there are just four steps the Lions can follow this offseason to ensure the momentum from late in 2021 on the field carries over firmly to the 2022 offseason.

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How should things look, and what does that plan look like? Here’s a look at the easiest way for the Lions to transition themselves into a winner in the near-future.

Lions Must Go Bigger at Wide Receiver

Detroit had a massive problem last season creating big plays, so the team needs to find multiple fixes, both on the free agency market as well as in the NFL draft. Detroit already looks as if they are going to go bigger in terms of chasing top names in free agency, and if they manage to land a player like Christian Kirk, Allen Robinson or even Amari Cooper if released, they cannot be done. The deepest wideout class in ages needs to be explored for at least a few upgrades with Detroit’s picks. This video shows just how many elite prospects there could be:

Overall, the Lions need to give Jared Goff some help and more playmakers to truly gage if he can be an effective quarterback for the team long-term.

Detroit’s Defense Must Get Fixed All Around

The Lions already have a coordinator that has been deemed a future star in Aaron Glenn. The team needs to give Glenn some more pieces with which to show off his talent, though. The team’s defensive line needs some more youth, the linebacking group needs to be boosted with additions and the secondary, while showing signs of being a bright spot in the future, needs help as well. Naturally, the Lions can’t do all of this in either free agency or the draft, so the team will have to find the right balance. One thing is for certain, though. The team cannot go into next season with the same group after finishing 29th overall in total defense in 2021. There are some building blocks as this video shows:

There are young players playing key roles, but the team needs to boost the entire defense and build up that side of the ball stronger. While the offense struggled at times, the defense looked downright putrid for stretches last year both up front and on the back end. That has to change, and with some well-timed additions to the roster, there is no reason that it can’t.

Hard Working Lions Should Continue to Be Rewarded

Detroit had a tough season in 2021, but amid that, the team did see some standout prove it performances from players. The team has already started to reward these guys, with linebacker Josh Woods, fullback Jason Cabinda and wide receiver Josh Reynolds. That’s a good start for Detroit, but the re-signings have to continue. Names like defensive lineman Charles Harris, linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, wideout Kalif Raymond and running back Godwin Igwebuike have to be the next to come back. The team may even have a strong case to keep safety Tracy Walker after a standout season. Harris specifically seems to have earned a new deal the most:

Championship teams are built not just on the backs of elite free agents or top draft picks, but glue players as well. The Lions have a lot of these guys on the roster that they have found or developed in recent years, so keeping the right ones around could go a long way toward building a winning culture for the team.

Add a Young Quarterback Within the NFL Draft

Far too often recently, the Detroit plan has involved kicking the can down the road at quarterback. That’s something which simply cannot happen anymore, and whether it be someone like Liberty’s Malik Willis, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder or even Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett or North Carolina’s Sam Howell, the Lions have to take a gamble this year on a young quarterback. Goff can still be the guy, and the team doesn’t have to stop thinking about going bigger at quarterback if the right situation merits either within free agency or the draft.

While the 2022 quarterback class may not be full of immediate starters or complete can’t miss stars, it doesn’t mean the team can’t find a quality backup or player who could grow into a starter as time goes by. It’s time for the Lions to make an effort toward reshaping the position in 2022.

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