Thanks to the Los Angeles Rams, the Detroit Lions look to have a top 5 draft pick

The Detroit Lions are in a bit of an odd position. The rebuild Lions currently sit at 4-7 on the season. The record does not show the improvement the team has made, on field play development does. The Los Angeles Rams, last years Super Bowl Champions were supposed to be in the mix for another trip to the big game, instead inconsistent play and major injuries have lead to a 3-8 record. This is good news for the Lions.

DETROIT, MI – NOVEMBER 24: Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) and Detroit Lions linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez (44) look on while waiting for play to resume after a timeout during a regular season NFL football game between the Buffalo Bills and the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day on November 24, 2022 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

During last years offseason the Detroit Lions traded longtime starting quarterback Matthew Stafford to the L.A. Rams, the Lions received a 2022 and 2023 first round draft pick, a 2021 third round draft pick and Rams quarterback Jared Goff. The Lions used their first pick #2 overall to draft Aiden Hutchinson and traded up to draft Alabama WR- Jameson Williams.

This season for the Rams, WR- Cooper Kupp had surgery and is out another 3-weeks. All world defensive tackle Aaron Donald has been ruled out for the Rams game this weekend. Matthew Stafford,  left tackle Joesph Noteboom and safety Jordan Fuller are all on injured reserve ending their seasons.

The free falling Rams would currently be draft at #4 overall if they had the draft pick. Instead the improving Detroit Lions hold that #4 pick as well as the #14 overall pick if the season ended today.

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)

In other words, Lions GM- Brad Holmes has set the Lions up very well. It seems likely the Lions will draft a QB with that top 5- draft pick. The team can cut Jared Goff without salary cap penalty in the offseason. There also could be a trade market for Goff with QB needy teams who are picking lower in the draft.

Nobody could see the Rams fall coming. They are put together well. This could be the classic Super Bowl hangover, at least the Rams hope it is. For the Detroit Lions, they will take it. As noted the teams young players have taken big steps in development.

Rebuilds take time, this rebuild is one Detroit Lions can can get behind.

The Detroit Lions are trending in the right direction, here’s why

The Detroit Lions who lost a Thanksgiving Day tilt against the Buffalo Bills 28-25 are trending in the right direction. That may seem odd to hear coming on the heals of a loss, but it is true. Before Thanksgiving Day the Lions had won three games in a row and looked very good in doing so. So how after a loss are they on the up and up? Let’s dive in.

PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 28: Jaylen Warren #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries the ball in front of James Houston #59 of the Detroit Lions during the fourth quarter at Acrisure Stadium on August 28, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Rookie, LB- Malcolm Rodriguez and LB- James Houston have played very well. Rodriguez has seen his playing time increase and has performed at a consistent level most of the season. While fellow rookie LB- James Houston who was elevate from the practice squad, started his first game vs the Bills and had 2-solo tackles and 2-quarterback sacks.

Yet, two players do not allow a team to trend in the right direction there have been others. Second year WR- Amon-Ra St. Brown continues to shine, as does many of GM’s Brad Holmes first two draft classes. The Lions are laying a foundation for success. That success now seems as if it is not all that far away.

The Detroit Lions have a bunch (9) draft picks in next springs NFL Draft. They have over $80 million in cap space. NFL rebuild can be quick if the GM is on his (or hopefully soon hers) game. Holmes has shown he has what it takes to build a solid football team.

The Lions still need help. Linebacker still needs some attention, quarterback, tight end, secondary. Again with 9 draft pick early, the team can address a couple of these areas and help push the team along.

On a side note and not player related, the coaching staff must do a better job with clock management. More than once poor clock management has cost the Lions. That will hopefully improve the more games are played.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – NOVEMBER 24: Amon-Ra St. Brown #14 of the Detroit Lions reacts against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Ford Field on November 24, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Fans should be excited for the future of the Detroit Lions. The foundation is solid, soon it will be time to add to that foundation which can do nothing but solidify the foundation.

 

For the first time in 5 years the Detroit Lions have won 3 in a row

A few weeks ago the Detroit Lions fired defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant. Speaking about the firing, Lions head coach Dan Campbell said “I just want to see us all on the same page, If we’re going to get beat, it’s because we’re—maybe we’re getting outrun or we’re not quite in-phase, but at least we’re kinda there. We gotta cut our mentals (mistakes) in half.” Winners of 3 in row, it looks like Campbell was right.

I am not a fan of pinning struggles on one individual. Yet, there is no mistaking the Detroit Lions have played much better since Pleasant was dismissed. Again, the secondary struggles were not entirely on the coach.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 20: Amon-Ra St. Brown #14 of the Detroit Lions carries the ball against the New York Giants during the first half at MetLife Stadium on November 20, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

For the first time since November 2017, the Lions have won 3 in a row. This is really big for an organization that has been rebuilding. After beating the Chicago Bears last week in Chicago, Campbell said it is important for the Lions to start to string some wins together. He is dead right. There needs to be signs that the rebuild is trending in the right direction.

Sunday afternoon the Lions again on the road in New York, the Lions took on the 7-2 Giants. The Lions played their best game of the season beating the Giants 31-18. It was a complete game by the Lions.

The Detroit defense held the NFL’s rushing leader Saquon Barkley to 22 yards on 15 carries. Rookie Aiden Hutchinson, continued to show why the team selected #2 overall in the NFL Draft. The 6′ 7″ Hutchinson came up huge for the Lions with 6:09 left in the second quarter, Hutchinson intercepted Giants QB Daniel Jones. The Lions used it to propel to victory.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 20: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions congratulates Jamaal Williams #30 of the Detroit Lions after a touchdown against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 20, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The young Detroit Lions are heading in the right direction. Players are taking steps in their development and starting to get the results on the field. The Lions take on the Buffalo Bills Thanksgiving Day.

The Detroit Lions are setup for success in the very near future

Success is not a word often associated with the Detroit Lions. Through the years and decades the Lions have had limited runs of success not consistent or prolonged for sure, this time however, it feels different. GM Brad Holmes has drafted very well in the two NFL Drafts he has lorded over. The Detroit Lions roster is not built to win many games this season, the team currently sits at 2-6 on the season. When the offseason rolls around, all bets are off.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – NOVEMBER 06: Kerby Joseph #31 of the Detroit Lions intercepts a pass intended for Robert Tonyan #85 of the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field on November 06, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

Armed with seven draft picks including two-first round picks, The Lions are set to bring in another solid draft class and perhaps a franchise quarterback. The Lions young offensive playmakers and solid offensive line would be ideal for a young QB.

The Lions defense has been a bit of a mess, but the unit has started to play better as of late. Rookie safety Kirby Joseph has stood out and was named Defensive Player of the Week last week for his two-interception 10-total tackle performance against the Green Bay Packers.

As stated, Brad Holmes has done a very good draft, no real surprise there given the GM spearheaded the Los Angeles Rams draft and helped put a Super Bowl Championship team on the field in L.A. Last week in a move that surprised some Holmes traded TE T.J. Hockenson to the division rival Minnesota Vikings for more draft picks.

By trading Hockenson, Holmes freed up more money and the Lions now have $80 million in salary cap room. In other words, Brad Holmes is going shopping during the offseason. Free agents will be brought while as the young core is gaining experience playing games.

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)

So to recap, Brad Holmes drafts very well, with seven draft picks and an outstanding quarterback class, Holmes can draft his franchise QB. $80 million in cap space, suggests that Holmes will address needs at safety, cornerback linebacker nudging the Lions closer to contention.

What Holmes has asked Lions fans to do with saying it publicly is to sit through one more bad season. His moves have set the Lions up for prolonged success.

For the 2022 Detroit Lions the defense will tell the story

In Motown, the offense has the weapons to be a very solid group. The issue that could very well hold the Detroit Lions back is the defense. I will be the first to say when GM Brad Holmes took over, the Lions roster was in shambles. Two drafts is simply not enough to fix the many issues. During training camp it is easy to see which group has improved and which group is still very much a work in progress.

The Detroit Lions actually look like they have a pass rush! Having largely been absent in recent years. The addition of Aidan Hutchinson and the improvement of Alim McNeill and others this camp have been a welcomed sight. When not getting to the quarterback the Lions defensive line has been in the backfield causing trouble.

ALLEN PARK, MI – AUGUST 08: Detroit Lions safety Kerby Joseph (31) participates in pass coverage drills during the Detroit Lions Training Camp afternoon practice session on August 8, 2022 at the the Detroit Lions Training Facility in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The secondary has performed so-so but look like they could round out to be a nice group. I’d like to talk about safety Kerby Joseph for just a moment. Drafted in the third round this year, Joseph has looked very good. While he has misread a couple plays his speed allowed him time to recover. But the ball just finds Joseph, he is a player to watch for sure.

Other than rookie Malcom Rodriguez, the Detroit Lions linebackers have been a bit of a train wreck. This unit is serious cause for concern. Rodriguez (drafted in the 6th round) has outperformed veterans by a long way. He hits his gaps, reads the run very well and drops back in pass coverage. The other linebackers struggle to do what a 6th round draft pick is doing.

WESTFIELD, INDIANA – AUGUST 18: Aidan Hutchinson #97 of the Detroit Lions warms up during the joint practice with the Indianapolis Colts at Grand Park on August 18, 2022 in Westfield, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions will score this year, as I said the offense is loaded. The team will have more sacks than they have at any time in recent seasons. But the linebackers could cause a lot of heartache if they can not pick it up.

As I mentioned, Brad Holmes took over a really bad roster and he is still working on building his roster. He has a done a masterful job at adding talent, but two drafts is just not enough time.

Let me know your thoughts on the Detroit Lions defense. Drop a comment and air it all out.

The Detroit Lions are hoping less is more for Amon-Ra St. Brown

90 catches, 900 yards, 5 touchdowns averaging 10.13 yards per catch, not bad for a rookie wide receiver drafted in the 4th round. Amon-Ra St. Brown did not burst onto the scene. St. Brown went out week by week and got better and better as the season moved along. So what will the second year WR do for an encore? The Detroit Lions hope he does less that will equate to more. Confused? Let’s see if we can clear that up a bit.

DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 17: Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (14) makes a fingertip catch for a first down during the game between the Detroit Lions and the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday October 17, 2021 at Ford Field in Detroit, MI. (Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Last season the Detroit Lions were decimated by injuries. Amon-Ran St. Brown was drafted as a slot receiver out of USC. Because of injuries, Brown was forced to play as the WR1. In other words, the top dog of the wide receivers.

Low and behold, not only did St. Brown fill in admirably but he became quarterback Jared Goff’s go to receiver, as a rookie. Now entering his second NFL season the Lions wide receiver room is solid. Free agent signee DJ Chark, week 11 pick up Josh Reynolds, first round draft pick Jamison Williams and others give the Lions offense more weapons.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, has been tasked by the Detroit Lions coaching staff to work on getting more yards after catch (YAC.) St. Brown has taken the request to heart. In training camp it does not matter how long the pass is, St. Brown is running all the way to the end zone.

With the improved receiver’s, St. Brown’s catches  are certain to come down. 90 is a lot for any wide receiver, yet if St. Brown does improve in YAC, his yards should not drop all that much. This is the thought process anyway.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 05: Amon-Ra St. Brown #14 of the Detroit Lions makes a catch and runs for the first down during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field on December 05, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Provided the Lions wide receivers do not have another rash of injuries, St. Brown can stay at the slot position where he is more dangerous. With speedy receivers on the outside that should open the middle of the field for St. Brown when his number is called.

So in this case less = more (if St. Brown improves in the YAC) this will help the Lions offense and the unit should see a marked improvement.

Drop a comment and let me know your thoughts on Amon-Ra St. Brown.

As the Detroit Lions training camp is starting soon, here is what I’m looking for

The Detroit Lions 2022 training camp is fast approaching (July 30.) With a roster full of young players training camp will be under the microscope of the public eye. Once again, I need to stress this is a rebuild, so do not think for one moment the Lions are going to go from 3 wins to the playoffs. Also, much like last season wins/losses do not matter, at least to the degree fans believe they do. So what could or would constitute as a successful season? That’s a loaded question, let’s take a look.

I am going to drive home the fact that the Detroit Lions need to stay healthy first and foremost. Last season the team had a rash of injuries that crippled units from being more consistent. The injuries ended seasons for several players. Usually a team can survive a player who is out 1-3 weeks, but the whole season was a bit much.

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)

Penei Sewell, who can play both tackle spots is a beast. He is one of the players I expect to take a massive step forward after a stellar rookie season. The Detroit Lions ran the ball for an average of 5.1 yards between the right tackle and right guard last season.

D’Andre Swift, the young running back needs to stay healthy. Swift is one of the best running backs in the NFL when he is on the field. A good run game is a blessing to any quarterback. The Lions have a top 5 ranked offensive line, and when all are healthy can give Swift the room he needs to roam free.

Derrick Barnes, he played better as the season moved along. The Lions linebackers to me are the biggest question mark heading into training camp. This is a group the simply put, needs to improve across the board. Rookie Malcom Rodriguez is a player I am going to focus on. He received a lot of praise from teammates and coaches during rookie camp.

The Lions wide receiver room is in much better shape heading into camp this year than it was a year ago. This group looks like they can be solid. Last season fourth round draft pick Amon-Ra St. Brown took the league by storm. Brown a slot receiver was forced to play WR1 due to injury and did a very good job. Now with DJ Chark and first round draft pick Jameson Williams (at some point, he is recovering from injury.) The receivers look solid.

CLEVELAND, OHIO – NOVEMBER 21: D’Andre Swift #32 of the Detroit Lions runs with the ball against the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 21, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The focus on the 2022 season for the Detroit Lions is and should be player development. This is a young team with a bright future, but that future is not yet and that’s okay.

What are you looking for as the Detroit Lions start training camp? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

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.