Among remaining free agents along the defensive line, the Detroit Lions appear to have an easy and ideal fit.
The bulk of NFL free agency is obviously over for this year, with some signings sure to come now that the draft is over and teams having needs to perhaps fill. For the Detroit Lions, there are a couple areas that could use a little more depth, extra competition or a pure upgrade if they are so inclined.
Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus (subscription required) named landing spots for the top remaining free agents recently. The Lions were named as the ideal team for veteran defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis.
A good veteran pass rusher on the interior next to Alim McNeill could be a key addition to a young Lions defensive line that boasts depth but needs a true difference-maker like a healthy Ioannidis,”
Ioannidis has missed time in recent seasons with injuries, but he’s been a consistently strong pass rusher from the interior, earning pass-rush grades of 69.1 or better in each of the past six campaigns with a pressure rate of around 10% in each of the past two. He can help a lot of teams make things tough on opposing quarterbacks.”
Matt Ioannidis would be a very nice fit for the Detroit Lions
Ioannidis made our list of free agents the Lions could sign after the draft. In 13 games for the Carolina Panthers last year, he had 37 tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble and nine quarterback hits.
Ioannidis spent the first six seasons of his career with Washington, highlighted by seasons of 8.5 (2019) and 7.5 sacks (2018). He had at least 11 quarterback hits in four of five seasons from 2017-2021, with the 2020 season where he played three games as the exception.
Ioannidis is experienced (86 career games, 53 starts) and versatile, and he’s been a productive pass rusher in terms of PFF grade and pressure metrics even without noticable sack totals the last couple years. He is just what the Lions need on the interior defensive line, and he’s available.