The Lions have a shot to have the best special teams unit in the NFL in 2024 if they get a couple more pieces

Yardbarker

The Detroit Lions have built up their team in a lot of different places this offseason. The defensive line is going to be stronger, the offensive line is ready for the future and, of course, the secondary is is pretty much brand new after a big overhaul. But there’s one place that the Lions have been building up enough to where it could be the best unit in the league and that’s special teams. 

The Lions already have the best special teams player in the NFL in first team All-Pro linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin. They made sure to get him a big deal early in the offseason ahead of free agency and now he’s set to be here for a few years.

The team also brought back C.J. Moore after the league reinstated him following his suspension for betting on the NFL. He was a major part of the Lions special teams unit in 2021 and 2022 and he was very good at his job. Having him back is a big win for the group.

The Lions drafted running back/safety Sione Vaki in the 2024 NFL Draft and Lions GM Brad Holmes believes that Vaki was the best special teams player in the entire draft this year. There’s a lot of possibilities with him. 

Then on the kicking end of things there’s Jack Fox. He’s been one of the leagues best and most reliable punters for years now. Speaking of punts, Kalif Raymond has been a very good punt returner for this team.

The Lions have some really strong pieces here, but they’re still a couple pieces away from being the best group in the league and they have still have a chance to get those pieces. 

The first is kicker. The Lions need a good reliable kicker that can hit from distance and help this team continue to put points on the board. Yes, they’re going to still be aggressive and go for it on fourth-down, but some situations call for kicking and the Lions haven’t had a trusty guy out there since Matt Prater in 2020. 

The obvious target on everyone’s mind is Michigan Panthers’ kicker Jake Bates. We’ll soon see if the Lions decide to go that route once the UFL season concludes in a few weeks. We already know they’ve shown some interest. 

Another position of need is kick returner, don’t be surprised if the Lions, and most of the NFL, go the UFL route for that position too considering the new kick off format is based off the one the UFL, XFL and USFL has been using. It makes sense to go after players that have already worked in and understand the format. 

The Lions may have that guy on their team already. Receiver Kaden Davis was one of the better return men in the USFL in 2023 when he was with the Michigan Panthers. He has a shot to make it. Maurice Alexander led the USFL in return yards in 2022 and we’ve already seen him break some big returns for the Lions in the preseason. He has a real shot to make it as well. 

If the Lions get those two spots going, they’re going to have to have the best special teams unit in the NFL and that’s going to help them tremendously in the field position game and with putting some points on the board. Lions special teams coach Dave Fipp has to be loving this. 

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