Packer Killer Headlines Top Free Agent Linebackers for Lions

Leonard Floyd

Getty Leonard Floyd flies to attack Aaron Rodgers.

The Detroit Lions have a defensive reconstruction set to begin, and perhaps the biggest need on the roster could be at the spot of linebacker.

Detroit has few players at the spot that could be thought of as difference makers, which is the sad truth for a team that is closer to a rebuild than any serious contention. Even though that might be the case, the chance does still exist for the Lions to make a moderate buy that could help improve the look of their defense in a major way moving forward.

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What linebackers make the most sense for the Lions on the free agent market? Here’s a look at some of the names that the Lions could add in the coming weeks that could help in a defensive turnaround for the team.

Neville Hewitt, ILB New York Jets

In terms of a solid option for the inside, Hewitt is one of the more productive young linebackers in the middle that the league has seen recently. His play is often overshadowed given the fact that he plays for a bad team. Still, Hewitt came on the scene in a big way during the 2020 season with 134 tackles and 2 sacks and looks poised to be able to make his imprint on the league. At just 27, he could be a good value buy for a team like Detroit, who could give him a chance for better exposure and a stronger role. Career, Hewitt has put up 352 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 3 interceptions as one of the most productive linebackers on the team. He could be an intriguing free agency buy as a result of this.

Denzel Perryman, ILB Los Angeles Chargers

Perryman will be a player the Lions will know well given Anthony Lynn coached him in Los Angeles, and that could lead to a potential connection with Detroit much like the team just saw with free agent wide receiver Tyrell Williams. Perryman has been productive early in his career with 352 tackles, 5 sacks and 3 interceptions and could be a player that the Lions decide they need in order to hold things down on the back end. Perryman plays with an aggressive, attacking style and could help in the renovation of the Detroit defense.

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Leonard Floyd, OLB Los Angeles Rams

Floyd was a good find of the Rams recently on the free agent market, and the Lions could work themselves into the conversation as well given their connection with Brad Holmes and proximity within the NFC North. Floyd put up an impressive 10.5 sacks last season, so adding him to the mix would be a move that would help the team’s ability to rush the passer in a major way. Floyd would be a gamble on a long-term deal, but if the Lions could sign him to a two year contract, it could prove to be a solid win for the organization bereft of pass rushers. Notable for Detroit? Floyd has 7.5 career sacks against Green Bay, which is an eye-opening total.

Derek Rivers, Los Angeles Rams

Similar to Floyd, the Lions could look at Rivers in order to find an option at pass rusher to help chip in. Rivers may cost way less in terms of compensation, and being he was a former New England player, there might not be a huge rush to sign him. Even still, Rivers offers some size and could show his stuff to a team like Detroit. Rivers didn’t get a huge chance to make a big impact in Los Angeles late last season, but if Brad Holmes liked what he saw, he could be a player that makes a quick push to join the team. Cost is the name of the game with Rivers, and he could be a player who doesn’t eat up a ton of space under the cap that could provide production.

Bud Dupree, OLB Pittsburgh Steelers

In terms of a bigger splash signing, Dupree could be an excellent fit for the Lions given his penchant for hitting the quarterback and his ability to attack on the field. Dupree has been one of the best young players on the Pittsburgh defense for the last few seasons, given an astonishing 39.5 sacks, 8 forced fumbles and 11 passes defended in his career. Dupree is still young at 28 and could be a centerpiece of the defensive resurgence in Detroit, especially given his ability to pressure the pocket. That is something which could make him very interesting to the Lions.

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