So who is leading the Detroit sports team rebuilds

It is still on going. The Detroit Pistons, still rebuilding. The Detroit Tigers, still rebuilding. The Detroit Lions, still rebuilding. The Detroit Red Wings, still rebuilding. It seems like forever all four major sports team in the city of Detroit, Michigan have been rebuilding. While it is a process and rebuilds do take a while it looks like one of the teams is very close to being competitive again. So which team is it? Let’s dive in.

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 19: A general detail view of a Detroit Tigers hat and glove during a game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Detroit Tigers in the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 19, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

The Detroit Tigers have had a disastrous season thus far. The Tigers were said to have been ready to end the long rebuild and start taking steps to being a playoff team once again. It looks like the team is still a ways away.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 30: The Detroit Pistons logo is pictured on the court before the game against the Orlando Magic at Little Caesars Arena on October 30, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

The Detroit Pistons have begun to put a nice core of players in place. For the Pistons there is still work to be done. I suspect the Pistons will start to take steps towards the playoffs in another season.

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 08: Detail view of the Detroit Lions logo seen at the Super Bowl Experience on February 08, 2022, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions have done a solid job of bringing in solid young players and the team should improve. Not playoff improve mind you, but in terms of taking another step forward and developing the young player.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – FEBRUARY 16: A view of the logo of the Detroit Red Wings on a player’s jersey during an NHL game against the Philadelphia Flyers on February 16, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

That brings us to the team that I feel is just about done with the long rebuild they have been in. The Detroit Red Wings, with no #1 overall draft picks in the three soon to be four years Steve Yzerman has been GM he has done a masterful job at finding outstanding young talent and developing it.

What Yzerman has done has almost flown under the radar. He has steadily improved the Red Wings pipeline and given some real hope. The Red Wings team he has been working on is going to be a nasty team. The defense is going to be one if not the best in the NHL. Forwards have improved and Yzerman has all sorts of salary cap space to work with this summer.

In about four years the Detroit Red Wings will be serious Stanley Cup Champion contenders. In about three years the Red Wings will be a playoff team that makes some noise.

So there you have it. Drop a comment and let me know your thoughts.

The Detroit Lions have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL

You’re only as good as the guys up front. That is an age old saying when it comes to offensive lines and not just in the NFL, at any level of football. For the rebuilding Detroit Lions they can check the offensive line unit off of the to-do list. The Lions have a top 10 offensive line and that group when healthy is special. The Detroit offense can really take a step forward this season.

While the Detroit Lions were hit hard by the injury bug last season, when the teams first unit offensive line was on the field the Lions moved the ball well. Injuries came and the struggles settled in.

Detroit Lions offensive tackle Taylor Decker (68) defends against Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz (86) during the second half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Michigan USA, on Sunday, November 17, 2019 (Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Center, Frank Ragnow missed most of the season, left tackle Taylor Decker missed a lot of games (8) and the list goes on. The fact is that Ragnow, Decker and last years first round draft pick Penei Sewell, give the Lions three very good linemen.

Decker and Sewell give the Lions one of, if not the best tackle duo in the entire NFL. Throw in Frank Ragnow who is in the 90% range for run block and for all centers and you can see why offensive line is not as big a hole to fix as other positions during this rebuilding process.

The Detroit Lions offensive line actually gives the team a shot to make a playoff run, even during a rebuild. Will it happen? I do not see that as being very likely, but the Cincinnati Bengals went to the Super Bowl a year after winning jus 2 games the year before, so I suppose it is possible.

While the focus this past NFL Draft was defensive heavy (for good reason that unit was not good and has a ways to go,) the question is with a healthy offensive line how does that improve the team in wins/losses?

General manager Brad Holmes, brought in more speed for the offense so that will help with tempo which the Lions were so slow last season paint almost dried faster that the Lions offense moved.

Detroit Lions offensive tackle Penei Sewell (58) defends against Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi (65) during the second half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Michigan USA, on Sunday, October 17, 2021. (Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

This will be a unit to watch this coming season. It sure seems like Penei Sewell is a sure bet to take the biggest step forward. At the end of the day the Lions will be a better team heading into toe 2022-23 season. If the offensive line can stay healthy I believe 3-4 more wins is possible.

For the Detroit Lions to improve, the tackling must improve

With 32 NFL teams the Detroit Lions were dead last in the NFL in tackling last season. That is right, the Lions ranked 32ond in tackling. The Lions defense allowed 75 (you read that correctly) broken tackles last season. A whole six more than the next team. For defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, it seems the way to go is teaching the  fundamentals and getting back to basics.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 09: Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn of the Detroit Lions looks on against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field on January 09, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Aaron Glenn would not accept switching the Detroit Lions defensive scheme last season as an excuse for the teams woefully poor tackling. Nor is Glenn dwelling on the past, simply saying the Lions defense needs to take the next step forward this season.

To say there is nowhere to go but up is an understatement. This was an overall arc that hampered the entire defense. In other words, the tackling deficiencies was not on one group but the defense as a whole. By switching to a 4-man front that should help with the run defense this coming season.

The 4-man front will take some pressure off the linebackers. By adding the trio of DE Aidan Hutchinson, DL Josh Paschal and LB Malcolm Rodriguez, in this years NFL Draft, the Lions went after sure tacklers to help out.

Ranking dead last in a major category is a sure way to struggle to find wins. As the Detroit embarked on a rebuild winning just 3 games was a bit low. The win total was not just missed tackles lead, as the offense struggled as well. As the season went on both the offense and defense made improvements.

With the additions of guys who excelled in college tackles and aided by a new 4- man front that should help the Lions defense out at the start of the 2022-23 NFL season.

CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 21: A Detroit Lions helmet on the sideline during the second quarter of the National Football League game between the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns on November 21, 2021, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The idea is to build off of the good that happened the last 5-6 games, make improvements and move forward. That is what Aaron Glenn and the rest of the Detroit players and coach’s are hoping for.

Final thoughts on the 2022 Detroit Lions draft class

Six defensive players drafted, while only two offensive players were selected. With that the Detroit Lions and general manager Brad Holmes concluded the 2022 NFL Draft. So what gives? The rebuilding Lions have needs up and down the roster, which Holmes drafted some of those areas of need and rather masterfully. The Lions defense definitely got a boost. The offense while needing some upgrades was and is in better shape.

Ranking 31st in scoring defense and 29th in total defense in 2021-22 made upgrading the unit paramount. I do not believe for one moment Brad Holmes and the rest of the Detroit Lions front office walked into team headquarters in Allen Park with the mindset of drafting six players on the defensive side of the ball. I do believe as the draft was taking shape and players fell to them they made the call.

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE SEPTEMBER 11: Jackson State DE James Houston was selected in the 6th round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Houston had a prolific year during his final season of play at Jackson State University after transferring from the Florida Gators. He finished the season with 16.5 sacks, named SWAC Newcomer of the Year and also named to the SWAC First Team Defense. (Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU University Communications/Jackson State University via Getty Images)

Needing a lot of help at edge rusher the Lions selected three (Aiden Hutchinson, Josh Paschal and James Houston.) Needing both help and depth in the secondary Holmes found two to his liking (Kerby Joseph, safety and Chase Lucas cornerback.) for good measure Holmes drafted linebacker Malcolm   Rodriguez to round out the defensive draft picks.

Only wide receiver Jameson Williams and tight end James Mitchell were selected for the offensive which may be telling of how the Lions brass feel about the offensive side of the ball. In a lackluster quarterback draft, the Lions will ride Jared Goff once again, which is not a bad thing.

Brad Holmes once again did a masterful job at addressing needs. As the dust settles on the 2022 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions are a better football team. The team now has edge rushers who can get to the quarterback. The secondary looks more solid while the linebackers are still a bit weak. You simply can not fix every area in one draft.

The Lions offense looks to be able to make things uncomfortable on opponents. Jameson Williams once he returns (rehabbing from a torn ACL) gives the Lions the deep threat they have been missing, which should help the running backs and with play action.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 01: Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes answers questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combine on March 1, 2022, at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

All and all, this was a very good draft for Brad Holmes and the rest of the Detroit Lions front office. I don’t like to give out grades as the proof is on the field. But a knee- jerk  grade would be a solid A.

Drop a comment and let me know what you think of the Detroit Lions draft class.

The Detroit Lions add more defense Day two of the 2022 NFL Draft

A defensive ranking of between 29th-31st depending on who you read is not good. To say the Detroit Lions needed help on the defensive side of the ball is like saying water is wet. Lions general manager Brad Holmes has insisted since becoming GM he was going to build his team through the draft. Three of the Lions first four draft picks have been defense. Here is what happened day two of the 2022 NFL Draft.

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – OCTOBER 14: A detailed view of a Detroit Lions helmet prior to a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on October 14, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Selecting Aiden Hutchinson with the second pick in the first round meant the Detroit Lions wanted to get more of a pass rush, something they have sorely been missing. With the teams second round pick Brad Holmes selected Josh Paschal from the University of Kentucky. Another edge rusher.

Being a stout player, Josh Paschal is tough to handle. Paschal is very good against the run most experts say that he has the ability to develop into a solid pass rusher. What may have attracted the Lions to Paschal is the fact he lined up all over the defensive line while at Kentucky, so he has proven to be versatile.

NFL draft experts either liked the pick or loved the pick. I loved the pick, to me this was Brad Holmes saying “we are going to get to the quarterback come hell or high water.”

Now the Lions defensive line is armed with Charles Harris, Alim McNeil, Levi Onwuzurike, Aiden Hutchinson and Josh Paschal, this should give the Lions a better pass rush.

Not done and needing a safety very badly the Lions drafted Kerby Joseph from the University of Illinois. This is a draft pick I feel the Lions got some good value on. Joseph has very good range, he had five  interceptions this past season which paved the way for an All Big-Ten Honor.

EAST HARTFORD, CT – SEPTEMBER 07: UConn Huskies wide receiver Heron Maurisseau (80) gets stopped for a short gain by Illinois Fighting Illini defensive back Kerby Joseph (25) during the game between the Illinois Fighting Illini and the UConn Huskies played on September 07, 2019 at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford, CT. (Photo by Steve Nurenberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kerby Joseph is a bit of a ball hawk. He seemed to always be around the ball and has very good instincts. He does need help in supporting the run better, and the Lions coaching staff believes he will get there.

Brad Holmes and the Detroit Lions are having another good draft. What should excite the Lions fan base is that Holmes is bent on improving the defense, which he has done through two days.

Drop a comment and give me your day 2 thoughts.

Looking at the Detroit Lions first two draft picks

Brad Holmes, Detroit Lions general manager is a man of his word. Leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft Holmes said he was looking for impact players, who could step in from day 1 and make the Lions a better football team. Thursday night’s round one of the draft saw Holmes make good on that. Selecting Michigan Wolverines defensive end/ edge rusher Aiden Hutchinson and then trading up to draft Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Jameson Williams.

CLEVELAND, OH – NOVEMBER 21: A Detroit Lions helmet on the sideline during the second quarter of the National Football League game between the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns on November 21, 2021, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Defensive standout Aiden Hutchinson does not have to move far. The Detroit native is staying in Detroit and said he wanted to be a Detroit Lion from the beginning of the draft process. By all accounts the feeling was mutual. Many NFL experts said the Lions had Hutchinson at the top of their draft board.

In Hutchinson the Detroit football team gets a player who is relentless and plays with a high motor every snap. The team who lacked a consistent pass rush now have a player who at Michigan was very consistent in the pass rush.

With a select few elite edge rushers in the draft, Hutchinson was widely considered the safest pick. The Detroit Lions defense got better with the selection, and yes there is still more work to be done. Drafting Aiden Hutchinson was a excellent start to the draft.

Next one of the Lions more pressing need was at wide receiver. Brad Holmes rolled the dice if you will by trading out of pick #32 and moving up to #12 to take Jameson Williams from Alabama. Williams who tore his ACL is already running. One can only be lead to think the Lions talked with Williams doctors and all is good.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 28: (L-R) Jameson Williams poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell onstage after being selected 12th by the Detroit Lions during round one of the 2022 NFL Draft on April 28, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Speed, speed and more speed, this is what Jameson Williams brings to the Lions. Wide receiver was a big issue last season and a rash of injuries at the position did not help. Now suddenly armed with Williams, D.J. Chark and Amon-Ra St. Brown, the Lions wide receivers look dangerous.

All and all, it was a tremendous first night for the Detroit Lions. Brad Holmes was aggressive in moving up, but not overly so. Heading into day 2 of the NFL Draft the Detroit Lions are a better football team.

Drop a comment and let me know your thoughts on the Detroit Lions two first round draft picks.

Detroit Lions 2022 player to watch: LB Derrick Barnes

The Detroit Lions front office just had to have him last year, so the team traded up and drafted linebackers Derrick Barnes out of the University of Purdue. It seemed at the time a bit of a daring move as Barnes was projected by some as a special teams player. Give Lions GM, Brad Holmes and his scouting department some credit, Derrick Barnes turned out to be better than his projection.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 17: Derrick Barnes #55 of the Detroit Lions breaks up a pass intended for Drew Sample #89 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the third quarter at Ford Field on October 17, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Derrick Barnes is one of my Detroit Lions players to watch this coming NFL season. While it is true that Barnes played with a lower snap count as a rookie last season, he did actually perform well. Barnes posted 67 tackles 4 for a loss. The coaching staff brought the linebacker along slowly mostly due to defensive scheme and substitutions.

Derrick Barnes showed quickness sideline to sideline, as well as attacking the line of scrimmage. He dropped back into zone coverage well and was able to cover both tight ends and running backs.

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell wanted and wants players who attack and are around the ball. Barnes checks those boxes. A strong argument can be made that no Lions linebacker looked better in pass coverage than Barnes, and he is a inside linebacker.

For a closer look at what the future holds for Barnes and the Lions defense, just look back at the game against the Cincinnati Bengals. In a bad loss, Derrick Barnes stood out.

With LB, Jalen Reeves-Maybin leaving via free agency the door is wide open for Barnes to earn more snaps. While the young linebacker did have some wrong reads last season he showcased enough to suggest he is ready to take the next step for the Lions this coming season.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 19: A.J. Green #18 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the ball against Derrick Barnes #55 of the Detroit Lions in the third quarter at Ford Field on December 19, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Both Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell having talked about changing the culture in Detroit by bringing in hard nosed players who want to win. Once again Derrick Barnes checks that box.

The Detroit Lions should not add Baker Mayfield and or Deebo Samuel

Detroit Lions general manager, Brad Holmes told the media and the Lions fan base at his introductory press conference that he intended to build the core of his roster through the NFL Draft. Holmes cautioned this would take some time without putting a timeline on the roster restructure. Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has asked for a trade as the Browns have brought in  Deshaun Watson to call plays. In San Francisco wide receiver/ running back, Deebo Samuel has asked for a trade due to being over used and wanting to lineup just at receiver. The Detroit Lions should stay away from both players, here is why.

ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 26: Detroit Lions helmets in the bench area prior to the week 16 NFL game between the Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons on December 26, 2021 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

If the Detroit Lions were closer to the end of a rebuild and ready to compete for division titles and playoff spots, then trading for either Samuel and or Mayfield could make some sense. After all both players are young and talented.

Jared Goff the current Detroit Lions quarterback is and should be the stopgap quarterback until the team is ready to draft a QB (which could happen in this years draft.) Baker Mayfield who’s character has come into question is better suited to call plays elsewhere in my opinion as Lions head coach Dan Campbell is still building the culture he wants.

Deebo Samuel is talented. There is not question, and no debate about it. While the Detroit Lions do have a need at the wide receiver position, does it make sense to either give up draft picks as well as then sign Samuel to a $20-$30 million per-year contact for a team that is not close (at this time) to winning?

Back to the comments Brad Holmes not only made but continues to bring up, building through the draft. Everyone likes quick fixes, I know I do. But in sports quick fixes are the equivalent of a band-aid. Meaning there is still much work to do to stop the bleeding of losing.

Holmes also said that the organization needs as much draft capital as they can get. Trading Matthew Stafford to the Ram last offseason helped the Lions acquire precious first round draft picks in 2022 and 2023. Judging by his comments made a few days ago, Holmes does not sound thrilled with the rising costs at the receiver position.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 02: A detail view of a NFL Crest logo is seen during the NFL Scouting Combine on March 2, 2022, at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

That cost would not only be in money form, but if they traded for a player like Deebo Samuel it would surely cost at least one if not two first round draft picks. This is a retooling of a roster that has needed one in the worst way. I echo what Brad Holmes said the proper way is to build is through the draft and not rush by costing the team draft capital and salary cap space.

Drop a comment and let me know what you think of the Lions plan to build through the draft.

By standing pat in free agency the Detroit Lions must nail the draft

The 2022 NFL Draft is next week. For the rebuilding Detroit Lions who did not make much noise in free agency the draft became that much more important. Detroit re-signed many of their own free agents to short deals in hopes that will be enough to win a few more games while building a core group of players through the draft. Theoretically that is the right path to take although it does put a lot of pressure on the front office to get the draft right.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAR 01: Brad Holmes, general manager of the Detroit Lions speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 1, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions have two first round draft picks which is certainly a nice luxury to have. Picking #2 overall and dead last in the first round, Lions general manager Brad Holmes must maximize this opportunity for the sake of the rebuild.

It should bother no one the Lions were pretty silent during the free agent period. This is not a great year for quarterbacks in the draft although there are a couple who are interesting prospects. Wide receiver, edge rusher and defensive backs are the flavor of this years draft.

It is widely being speculated the Detroit Lions may snatch one of the elite edge rushers at #2 then what? That seems to be anyone’s guess. Logically it seems that if the team drafts defense then they should go offense with the second first round pick.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JANUARY 02: A general view of a Detroit Lions helmet before a game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on January 02, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Logic is out the window. Sort of. You hear the phrase “best player available” a lot leading up to and during the draft. That needs to be tossed for the Lions. They need a game plan for the draft. With the current roster any player the team drafts is the best available in other words no player on the roster is better than the newest draft pick.

If Brad Holmes can add a blend of offense and defense the way he did last year the Lions will be a better team. Not adding impactful free agents puts the spotlight on the general manager and scouting department who must produce a solid draft class.

 

Detroit Lions and city of Detroit news

It took five years. Five agonizing pursuing years, but the city of Detroit has been awarded the 2024 NFL Draft. NFL owners voted and awarded Detroit the draft over Green Bay Wisconsin and Washington D.C.  Hundred of thousands of NFL fan flock each April to the site of the NFL Draft, it is the leagues second biggest event to the Super Bowl. In Detroit Lions news, the team has been selected to appear on HBO’s Hard Knocks.

30 April 2021, US, Lake Forest: The caps of all 32 NFL teams are set for the draft of football player Amon-Ra St. Brown. In the draft, the 32 NFL teams get to take turns selecting young players. The prospective pros have no say in which team they begin their National Football League careers. (to dpa “Texans pick quarterback – St. Brown not yet selected in NFL draft”) Photo: Maximilian Haupt/dpa (Photo by Maximilian Haupt/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The economic impact on the city that hosts the NFL Draft is between $95.5-$100 million for the three day event. The Detroit Lions have been petitioning the league since 2017.

Detroit has long been on of the best sports cities in the country. The Lions even when bad pack Ford Field. The 2024 draft may see the Lions at the end of the organization’s rebuild.

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell is a very voicetress polarizing he will be front and center when the Lions appear on HBO’s Hard Knocks. The show goes inside NFL training camps.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAR 01: Dan Campbell, head coach of the Detroit Lions speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 1, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

For Lions fans it will be a good look into the culture that Dan Campbell and Detroit GM Brad Holmes are building. The popular HBO show, showcases raw access to players and coaches meeting rooms, training rooms, living quarters and practice fields.

The two events coming to a downtown Detroit that is on the upswing is a good move for the city. The funds generated will also help the city with other construction projects.

For Detroit Lions fans, this is proof that the old days of the Lions are gone. Now with a new owner, GM, rebuild the team is actually giving hope they will soon be competitive.

The early planning stages of the 2024 NFL draft include, live bands, fireworks around the city and other surprises.