This offseason the Lions added arguably the best pass rusher on the free-agent market by signing Trey Flowers. On Friday, they were back at it again by adding another piece to bolster the middle of their defensive line.
On Wednesday, the Green Bay Packers announced the release of seven-year veteran Mike Daniels. It didn’t take long for Daniels to find a new home. On Friday, Daniels signed a one-year deal worth $9.1 million which includes $7.8 million in guaranteed money.
The Lions now possess three notable defensive lineman with Daniels joining Trey Flowers and Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison. But on the other hand, the trio has never individually posted a season with double-digit sacks, so what is head coach Matt Patricia’s actual game plan?
The Lions’ defense is designed to stop the run effectively, but how much pressure will Patricia be able to get out of his front? It’s no secret the NFL is a passing heavy league, so the focus of the defensive line must shift to see if anyone can effectively pressure the quarterback.
Flowers shows 10-plus sack potential, but he’s never been able to get over that hump. Flowers and Patricia worked well together during their time in New England, and with more experience under his belt now, Patricia might be able to tap into Flowers’ pass-rushing potential and turn him loose.
The other concern is the secondary. If the corners can’t cover, the defensive line becomes diminished. The Lions have two-time Pro Bowler Darius Slay at cornerback, but they’re largely lacking experience and production on the back-end.
Last season, the Lions ranked 16th in points allowed per game with 22.5. In the offseason they lost starting cornerback Nevin Lawson to the Oakland Raiders and safety Glover Quin to retirement. Not ideal.
Detroit will need someone to emerge on the back end to hold opposing defense to a minimum.