Last year the Detroit Lions squeaked into the the playoffs at just 9-7. This was largely because they found a solid balance of offence and defence. Both sides of the ball could have used improving but during the NFL draft, general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Jim Caldwell focused mostly on the defensive side of the football. The Lions decided to use six of their nine selections on defensive players including: three of their first four selections.
Going forward, the Lions should look to add more playmakers on the defensive side of the ball.
Detroit Lions Defensive Preview: Looking For Consistency
DT: A’Shawn Robinson/Akeem Spence
Robinson was a young defensive tackle last year that will need to improve if he is going to be a starting defensive tackle this season. He has great size and motor. Spence has been raved over by coaches for his improvement as well.
DE: Cornelius Washington
The Lions main weakness this year is on the defensive line. With a young defensive tackle core and an injured Ezekiel Ansah and Kerry Hyder Jr, this year looks to be rough and unpredictable in the trenches. Washington should be on the top of the depth chart come opening day due to the lack of quality help.
LOLB: Tahir Whitehead/Jalen Reeves-Maybin
2016 was a down year for Whitehead and many contributed that to his switch to middle linebacker last year. Whitehead is clearly a better outside linebacker and this should be his bounce back. Maybin is a rookie who primarily focused on dominating special teams in college.
MLB: Jarrad Davis/Paul Worrilow
Davis was the Lions first round pick in 2017, and so far has been a stud through training camp. He has already established himself as a leader on defence and will provide a great partner for Worrilow – the run stuffing veteran.
ROLB: Antwione Williams
Williams is inexperienced, but has had a really nice training camp and fits well opposite Whitehead.
CB: Darius Slay/D.J. Hayden
Slay is a fan favourite and is simply one of the best at his position in the NFL. Coming over from the Oakland Raiders, Hayden can flash shutdown corner potential but frequently deals with inconsistency troubles.
CB: Nevin Lawson/Teez Tabor
Lawson is a solid all-around corner who should retain his spot this season unless Tabor heavily exceeds his early expectations. Tabor was the Lions 2nd round pick and has not adjusted to speed of the NFL just yet. Many believe he has the potential to be one of the best defenders in the league at some point but is not there yet.
FS: Glover Quin
The Lions re-signed Quin this offseason, who has always been a great leader for the Lions. He is also an interception machine.
SS: Tavon Wilson/Miles Killebrew
Wilson is a big hitting safety and a former Patriot. Killebrew can be slid into any secondary position due to his speed and versatility.
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