What did the Detroit Lions offseason look like?
With the offseason in the rearview mirror, it is an excellent time to look back at the Chicago Bears division rivals. The Detroit Lions were 3-3-1 when Matt Stafford got hurt and proceeded to lose every game from that point on. If Stafford is healthy, they could be a much better team in 2020. They also made a lot of changes to their 2020 roster.
What does the 2020 Detroit Lions offseason look like?
We all know the Detroit Lions backup well. He may not play Week One when the two face-off, but Chicago Bears fans would anticipate a chance to see Chase Daniel step in against their defense as the Lions backup. Needless to say, if Stafford gets hurt again, the Lions are going to be right back in the top five picks.
At running back, the Lions added D’Andre Swift and Jason Huntley. Considering they drafted Kerryon Johnson early and Ty Johnson just last year, there is a clear commitment to the ground game in Detroit. They want not only a two-headed monster, but a complete backfield by committee.
The Lions signed Geronimo Allison and drafted Quintez Cephus. With Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola, this is not big news. Still, Jones and Golladay are free agents after the year, so watching their contract negotiations will be interesting.
On the offensive line, Graham Glasgow priced himself out of the Lions market, while Ricky Wagner went to division rival Green Bay. The Lions drafted Jonah Jackson and Logan Stenberg, and they also have Oday Abushi to compete at guard. They gave big money to Halapoulivaati Vaitai in the hopes of finding a young upgrade, but the move is questionable at the moment. Still, Jackson and Stenberg were candidates we highlighted for the Bears to add to the mix, and both have a chance to start as rookies.
On the defensive line, the Lions lost some interior force but added a group of nose tackles. Danny Shelton and Austin Bryant were signed, while John Penisini and Jashon Cornell were drafted. The defense commitment to stop the run matches the offense commitment to run the ball.
Julian Okwara was drafted to be a pass rusher across from his brother Romeo. Jaimie Collins was signed to replace Devon Kennard, and he is obviously familiar with Matt Patricia as a head coach. The Lions also signed Duron Harmon to replace Tavon Wilson, meaning that three Patriots came back to Patricia on the defensive side of the ball with Collins, Harmon, and Shelton.
At cornerback Rashaan Melvin and Darius Slay turned into Desmond Trufant and Jeff Okudah. Okudah has upside as high as Slay and is much younger and cheaper. Trufant is older and is starting to come to the end of his prime, but may be equal or an upgrade from Melvin.
Overall, this is the year we are going to learn what type of coach Patricia is. He went out of his way to add defensive players of his liking and kick out the ones who did not agree for two straight years. Now, he has his players. On offense, everything hinges on Matthew Stafford. Still, it will be worth noting how invested the team is on their big-name receivers when they have a barrel full of running backs is on their roster and a clear notion to run the ball and stop the run.