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.
Embed from Getty Images A third round draft pick in 2018, Tracy Walker was a question mark among the Detroit Lions fan base and some media members. At the Time Glover Quinn was cemented at one safety position and Quandre Diggs at the other. So why draft another safety?
After the Detroit Lions released the popular Quinn, mostly because he did not fit what Matt Patricia envisioned for his defense, Detroit began to give Tracy Walker more playing time.
Walker was a small school draft pick, he started the season on special teams. When the Detroit Lions were eliminated from the playoffs, Walker saw his playing time increase greatly as it became apparent the Lions were moving on from Quinn.
With every game as well as every snap Walker looked more and more comfortable. He showed tremendous range and versatility. Lining up at different spots in the secondary. Tracy Walker disrupted passes and recorded 2 interceptions. Had Walker qualified for enough snaps, he would have ranked fourth among safeties with an 89.9 grade. Tracy only played 27.1% of the defensive snaps.
Heading into OTA’s and fall camp, one safety job belongs to Walker. Patricia has always hated giving out jobs with a player facing competition. In the case of Walker, it would take an unbelievable performance to knock his out of the starting job.
I have penciled Tracy Walker as my Detroit Lion who very well could be a breakout player this coming season.
Embed from Getty Images There are times when a sports franchise is blessed with a good person. In 2013 the Detroit Lions signed free agent safety Glover Quin to a 5 year $23.5 million dollar contract. They signed more than a football player.
Having watched and follow the Detroit Lions since 1980, I can honestly say I have seen players come and players go. This one hurts almost as much as when the Lions let linebacker Chris Spielman go.
During his time in Detroit, Glover Quin never missed a start. In the rough and tough world of professional football that is extraordinary. 148 games played. He doubled games played by other safeties during the same time span.
Glover Quin was and will continue to be the benchmark for consistency. On a personal note Glover is one of my all-time favorite Lions. I try not to attach personal feelings to a player. But man alive…….
By releasing Quin the Detroit Lions save $6.25 million in salary cap money. He always had a way with coaches and teammates and the Detroit media that made people both feel better and feel respected.
Much the way Spielman was the heart and soul of the late 1980’s though mid 1990’s Detroit defenses. That is what Quin has been for his time in.
Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn released a statement:
“We thank Glover for his countless contributions to the Detroit Lions during his six seasons with our team. Since joining the organization in 2013, Glover exemplified everything it means to be a true professional in the league- as both a competitor on the field and a leading voice in the community. Coach (Matt) Patricia and I have the utmost respect for him as a man and as a player, we wish him nothing but the very best in the future.”
On the surface this looks like a cold cut. Quin’s play did drop off this past season. Glover also admitted he thought about retiring. Those I am sure were factors in the Lions decision.
Detroit Free Press Lions beat writer Carlos Monarrez, took it a step further. Saying the Detroit Lions need to put Glover Quin in the Lions Ring of Honor. I agree!
Embed from Getty Images At 6′ 1″ new Detroit Lions, Tracy Walker was brought in with an eye on the future. For good reason. He’s a hitter.
Walker, is a very fluid athlete. He gets to the ball with little problem. As a three year starter at Louisiana-Lafayette he was an absolute ball-hawk. That is a plus given the talent in Detroit’s secondary.
He has a very quick first step and is fast to the point of attack. Tracy Walker does seem to have one speed and has been beaten deep. Leading me to believe he will play in a lot of zone situation.
Again the Detroit Lions, have a very good secondary so if Walker, plays zone he could also be a stand out special teams player given his instincts for getting to the ball.
Not too mention current Detroit Lions safety Quandre Diggs is entering the final year of his contract and has not developed as well as Lions, general manage Bob Quinn had hoped.
Detroit Lions head coach, Matt Patrica is famously known for coaching players up to a higher level than the players draft status could bode well for Tracy Walker.
He has the natural instincts that coaches look for and that can’t be taught. Getting to the ball before the pass is in the air. It will be fun to see just what Patricia and his coaching staff can do to elevate Walkers game.