Earlier this month, we revealed an in-depth draft analysis discussing the outlook on Penn State’s Micah Parsons as one of the most viable defensive candidates for the Detroit Lions to select with the seventh overall pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft.
Coming off one of the most disastrous defensive performances last season, the Lions could very well opt to scout for prospects on the defensive side of the ball to improve the team’s ability to prevent opposing offenses from scoring at ease.
Nevertheless, opportunities are also prevalent for the team within the offensive unit. Reeling off of the effects of the recent departure of franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford, the Lions decided to bring in two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Jared Goff to be the field general of the offensive corps.
With the transaction agreed upon, alongside the extra draft capital acquired in the deal, it will be crucial now for Lions’ front office to switch gears and aim to surround Goff with the talent that mirrors his playing style. And to serve to make him as comfortable behind the pocket as possible to lead as the offense’s primary playmaker for years to come.
For that reason specifically, it should not be drawn as a surprise if the Lions decide to pursue free agent acquisitions at the wide receiver position this offseason, or handpick a stud wideout in the upcoming draft.
Aside from the team’s 2020 fifth-round selection, Quintez Cephus, the upcoming offseason induces the Lions drawing very thin at the wide receiver position with the potential departure of many of the squad’s wideouts currently pending unrestricted free agents.
Despite the fact that analysts have speculated that the Lions may decide to franchise tag young star receiver Kenny Golladay for the upcoming season, there’s certainly no guarantee that they will also able to retain the services of Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, and Jamal Agnew; especially with an incoming receding salary cap.
With all implications taken into account, the league’s decision to raise the cap floor from $175 million to $180 million projects the Lions heading into the upcoming season approximately $6.5 million above the salary cap. Inevitably, the Lions will have to shed some contracts or restructure other player’s deals in order to be able to make a competitive push to retain the services of some of their unrestricted free agents.
In contrast to the focused task of constructing the team through free-agent acquisitions, former Lions linebacker Chris Spielman echoed sentiments that the Lions front office may instead keep it low-key in free agency and rather deploy a system of drafting, developing, and re-signing the talent needed to turn the franchise around.
Accounting for the upcoming cap restrictions challenging the Lions’ ability to maneuver in the free agency market, a prospective move that general manager Brad Holmes could partake in would be focusing on the draft to fill the team’s voids at the wideout position.
Luckily for the Lions’ hopefuls, the incoming draft pool is stacked with talent at the wide receiver position. It wasn’t too long ago that one of our own analysts at the SideLion Report suggested that a potential move for the Lions would be to bring in LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase to help kick-start a new era in Motown City.
All signs are pointing to a potential overhaul for the team at the wide receiver position. The promising spin on this is heralded by the Detroit Lions’ signing of former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antwaan Randle El as the new wide receivers coach.
Randle El will be able to leave his imprint on the positional gatherings as well as fostering a relationship between newly acquired field general Goff and his offensive go-getters running the hot routes. In spite of all this, one familiarity that will be consistent throughout the organization this upcoming season will be the notion of “starting from scratch”.