Colin Cowherd Talks up State of Detroit Rebuild: ‘The Lions Feel Different’

Colin Cowherd

Getty Fox Sports personality Colin Cowherd during a 2016 event.

The Detroit Lions haven’t had much to be excited about in 2021, but after their first win of the year, all the pressure is off and the team the rest of the way in terms of finding a win.

Now, the team can set their sights on building for the future and finding a way to set themselves up for a successful offseason. While some might be skeptics in the Lions being able to get that done, there are pundits who have taken a closer look and realize Detroit’s in a better position than many might think.

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One such person is Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports. Speaking on The Herd, Cowherd talked about where he sees the rebuilding teams in the league. As he said, the Lions might be in better shape than most given what they already have on the roster and how they have been playing in 2021

“There’s five rebuilding teams in the NFL. The Giants, the Jets, Houston, Jacksonville and Detroit. The Lions feel different,” Cowherd said. “They’ve got a QB who got to the Super Bowl. When he has time to throw, he throws a beautiful ball, Jared Goff. Five of their 10 losses are one-possession games. They out played the Ravens, should have won. They out-played the Steelers, should have won. This team likes their head coach. Many of their young player this draft and last draft are playing. Jared Goff is capable of winning games if you give him time to throw. The other thing is they play hard and love their coach. They play really hard, there’s never been quit. There’s been matchups they don’t play well.”

As Cowherd would go on to say, the Lions have major holes to address on the roster, but have other key things in place that could make the rebuild a bit easier.

“I don’t think they’re lost. They’ve got a coach the team believes in, young players the last two years… I think quarterback (and) coach, you’re good for a couple years,” he said. “But I find them different, I find they’re a unified bad team…I just think this team needs more good players. That’s what I think with Detroit. They just need more good players. They need a sustained pass rush, they need to keep upgrading the interior of their offensive line and they’ll be fine.”

It’s clear the Lions haven’t quit in 2021 when they have had plenty of chances to do so and many of their losses feel like they have been due to a lack of talent, thus Cowherd’s argument could be proven correct in the end.

Cowherd Thinks Lions Should Draft Aiden Hutchinson

How can the Lions jump-start their rebuild? Perhaps by taking a chance and drafting Michigan’s Aiden Hutchenson. Many have come to the conclusion that Hutchinson is the best player the Lions could grab at the top of the draft, and Cowherd is no exception.

“The Michigan kid, the pass rusher, could be the number one pick. Aiden Hutchinson, pass rusher, a little JJ Watt,” Cowherd said. “They need a pass rusher, everybody in the league does. That could be your first pick. You have a local kid, he’s a pass rusher, everybody needs him, it’s a valuable position, Michigan kid for the Lions.”

In terms of Hutchinson, several Lions fans will also likely know what he is capable of given his career at Michigan, and the defensive end has put up some solid numbers in school already. Coming into this season, Hutchinson collected 94 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. This year, his work has been even better. Hutchinson has put together a stellar regular season with 15.5 sacks, 58 tackles and 2 forced fumbles. He’s looked like one of the best defenders in college football throughout the second half of the season.

Could that lead him to become Detroit’s top pick? It’s more than possible, and Cowherd would clearly like the move for the team if it were to play out that way.

State of Lions Rebuild Ahead of 2022 Offseason

If the Lions manage to secure the top selection in the draft as it’s looking like they might, there’s a multitude of ways they could elect to go with the pick given the unique needs of the roster. The team’s defense needs playmakers up front to rush the passer along the defensive line, and could also need depth on the back end at cornerback. Offensively, the Lions have a major need for a big time pass catching wideout to help their down field attack on offense. As always, quarterback is going to be a position to watch near the top of the draft, especially considering the early struggles of Jared Goff with the Lions in 2021.

The good news for Detroit? They also have the first-round pick of the Los Angeles Rams by virtue of the Matthew Stafford trade for this year and next year, and figure to gain multiple compensatory selections for 2022 so some serious building can occur for the roster if the team manages to secure the top overall pick. Obviously, there is no shortage of needs for the team to ponder with all of their selections next year.

In terms of free agency, the Lions will have a decent amount of money to spend. estimates the Lions will have just over $40.2 million to spend before any other cuts come down. With this in mind, the team should also have some money to patch holes in an effective way.

All things considered, the Lions could be in better shape than many might give them credit for, which is something that Cowherd sees given their play this year.

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