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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Detroit Lions General Manager, Brad Holmes continues his purge of former Lions GM Bob Quinn’s roster. This time linebacker Jamie Collins has one foot out of town as the Lions announced they are shopping the linebacker and looking for a trade partner. Enter fourth round draft pick Derrick Barnes, the former Purdue Boilermaker is set to make a bigger impact on the Lions starting Sunday.
The Detroit Lions are not only one of, if not the youngest teams in the NFL, are set to get both younger and more athletic with Derrick Barnes in the lineup. Jamie Collins is a good linebacker, this is not a slam on him. Collins simply does not fit the vision of the Detroit Lions front office and coaching staff.
Derrick Barnes enjoyed a standout preseason. So much so that he left both fans and the Lions coaching staff to wonder what more he could offer. Now he gets his chance. It appears that Barnes will play most if not all the Lions base defensive packages. Linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin will enter games in nickel situations.
Other than his speed and explosiveness to the point of contact, Barnes’ ability to drop back in coverage, is what the Detroit Lions coaching staff likes about the young Barnes who is also a film junkie, he studies opposing teams and then applies what he finds during film sessions.
For the Detroit Lions who are rebuilding, and adding more speed and athleticism to the roster, giving Derrick Barnes a chance to show what he can do in an expanded role is what is best for both player and organization.
Brad Holmes and the Detroit Lions had a very solid 2021 NFL draft. To date six players drafted have all seen playing time. This is what Holmes has been known for.
As for Derrick Barnes, his time has come. It is up to him to show he can stick in a larger role. Popular thought is he will.
Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Lions needing help at linebacker drafted Jarrad Davis out of the University of Florida in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft. After an up and down rookie season, Jarrad Davis is ready to unleash.
The 2017 NFL season saw Detroit Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis struggle in passing situations. To the point he was replaced on second and long and third down. Making him a very expensive first round draft pick. Playing only first down only at middle linebacker is a career killer.
Jarrad Davis, though fought through and improved his pass coverage and was left in games as the season was winding down. Now Detroit head coach Matt Patrica and his staff aim to get more out of the second year linebacker.
When the Detroit Lions defense lines up in the 3-4 the linebackers are the single most important unit of the field. The move up to the line of scrimmage and fill the B and D gap between the defensive linemen.
Davis had 96 tackles last season. Now more will be expected from him