Time for the Detroit Lions off-season assessments far too early. I’m sure you’ve probably seen all the analysts around the world of sports media hand out their ratings for the Lions off-season, but now it’s our turn.
I’ll break this down into five parts and rate each one before giving a rating for the entire shabang. Let’s go straight to this.
Let’s start here. The Lions have struggled to maintain players in the recent past. After the 2020 season, they lost a lot of important players to a free agency. This year it was not a problem. The Lions managed to keep almost everyone they wanted. The great goalkeepers were Tracy Walker and Charles Harris, but the Lions also managed to keep the likes of Evan Brown, Josh Reynolds and Caliph Raymond.
The players who lost the Lions shouldn’t be too much of a harm to the team. Only three players have signed deals elsewhere and only Jalen Reeves-Maybin is the one who feels like a true loser. But Lions are fairly well stocked with linebackers, and I can’t blame him for wanting to go somewhere where he probably would have more time to play.
As for me, the Lions missed that boat a bit. The team had the money and needs, but for the most part preferred to stay where they were. I get the idea of building through sketch and I can see that Lions also save money by going this way. Even so, you can’t help feeling that the Lions have left a few chances on the table.
However, the Lions did some nice moves with who they picked up. DJ Chark could make a big impact in 2022, and maybe later. Deshon Elliott is a safe launch caliber if it can stay healthy. Jarrad Davis may have the best chance of success in his career with this coaching staff, and Mike Hughes should be competing for the starting job right away. The value is there. There’s even more when you look at the team-friendly contracts that all of these players have signed.
Still, I feel the Lions could have done more. It would be nice to see Lions make a splash and they just didn’t.
This one is big. The Lions held their coaching staff together. It seemed impossible for a moment. Defense Coordinator Aaron Glenn was interviewed as head coach with the Saints and Broncos, and Defense Coach Aubrey Pleasant was interviewed to be the Defense Coordinator of both Vikings and Saints. The Lions managed to keep both in the squad and it was a big win.
The Lions lost their offensive coordinator when the team “broke up” from Anthony Lynn after losing their game responsibilities = mid-season appointment. However, they swapped it for the right choice at Ben Johnson. Johnson played a nice role in creating the fun shows the Lions put on late last season. That said, Johnson has never called games before and will be entering 2022 as the coordinator of the first offensive. There is no guarantee that it will work, so it will lower the rating a bit.
Grade: B +
This year, The Lions absolutely won the project. Aidan Hutchinson was long considered the best candidate in the draft, and the Lions won him with a second pick. That same evening, they had arguably their best offensive when they swapped for Jameson Williams.
Then the value began to flow in. James Houston could be a steal in a draft. James Mitchell is another theft that would probably have gone higher had it not been for his injury. Sixth round pick Malcolm Rodriguez is already winning over the coaching staff, and Josh Paschal can step into the Lions defensive line immediately. There is a lot to get excited about in this group.
Movements without a plan
It was a great off-season for Detroit. For starters, the NFL Draft will arrive in the city in 2024. This is a big win for the city and Lviv, which have been trying to get a draft in the city for some time. It’s going to be a fun weekend that I’m looking forward to.
Speaking of an experience I’m looking forward to, Lions got Hard Knocks HBO this summer. It will be a lot of fun to watch Dan Campbell and the team leading the team, and twice as much fun to watch the world fall in love with Campbell and the Lions.
Speaking of falling in love, Lions are already beginning to see positive national attention. Suddenly, the sports world has started praising the Lions in the off-season, whether it’s high draft marks or early predictions that the Lions will be a dormant team in 2022. It was crazy when analysts went from mocking this team to loving this team. Make room, Lions fans, there are more and more people every day.
It’s hard not to be too optimistic about the future of the Lions. The way they’ve progressed off-season certainly doesn’t help if you’re trying to keep your balance. You saw the grades. They got the project done, they kept their coaches, they kept the players they wanted to keep, and they had great things that happened to the series. The only exception is a free agency. The lions missed it, and I just can’t get over it. However, the value of what they received makes up for much of it.
In the end I have to go with a solid one Rating for the off-season class Lviv. We’ll see in January if this assessment holds, but from where we stand now, the Lions have nailed it.