Monday, June 27, 2022

Lions ‘Offseason Report Card’ sees a good grade from the bleacher report

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The Detroit Lions have redesigned their roster in a big way this offseason, and that gives hope that the team will soon be able to turn the tide for the future.

With the off-season of work all but over, some final grades for the team’s work have begun. Once again it seems that the team scored big points for the work they were able to do.

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Bleacher Report and author Kristopher Knox assessed the team’s moves in both freehand and draft. While the team’s draft grade was a near-perfect A, the commercial and free agency grade was a slightly lower B. In the end, those grades averaged a B+ for the team, which was a hell of a grade for Detroit.

Knox admits he doesn’t think the Lions will be 2022 playoff contenders, but he says that’s not a bad thing since the offseason took a “hugely long-term approach” that has made the team a “winner.” “Part of that focus is about keeping Jared Goff and adding some guns to the mix for him.

“The Lions may only see a small boost in the Victory Column this year, but they still had a great offseason. Whenever they’re ready to walk away from Goff and target a new long-term signal caller, they should have a strong foundation,” he wrote.

No matter when that is, the Lions have been able to convince in the meantime, which speaks for the high grade that the team has received.

Not only does Bleacher Report seem to love what the Lions have done, but so does Pro Football Focus. The side awarded grades for each team’s work to date this offseason, and Detroit managed to earn an A- for their work. However, it wasn’t just that PFF took notice of what the Lions were doing. Numerous other people in the national media have started getting high on Detroit, including ESPN’s Mina Kimes. It’s clear that the narrative about the Lions is starting to change a lot. They’re no longer a complete joke, and the team could be building something that people should finally take seriously.

With a lot of these notes and stories, it’s clear the team is taken seriously. The challenge now is finding a way to consistently build things for the future and live up to some of the early hype on the field.

Detroit’s work started early, beginning with the signing of several internal free agents. Before free agency took off and peaked, the Lions had brought back names like wideouts Kalif Raymond and Josh Reynolds, safety Tracy Walker, defenseman Charles Harris and linebacker Alex Anzalone. In terms of outside spending, Detroit didn’t do much, adding on offense DJ Chark, and linebackers Chris Board and Jarrad Davis, safety DeShon Elliott, and cornerback Mike Hughes. All are underrated players who could fly under the radar for the Lions in 2022.

When the draft came up, the Lions stuck to the plan too. They’ve got lucky enough to land Michigan’s powerful Aidan Hutchinson, who will be a good slam dunk for defense. The Lions then traded for full-back Jameson Williams, who was supposed to add a dynamic element to their offense. Day two brought further defensive help to the team with the bold and elegant Josh Paschal. Super athletic safetyman Kirby Joseph ended the day on lap three and should quickly be in contention for a role as a needy defender at the Motor City. On day three, the Lions added James Mitchell, a tight end from Virginia Tech, Malcolm Rodriguez, an Oklahoma State linebacker, and James Houston, a Jackson State linebacker. Chase Lucas, a cornerback from Arizona State, was the team’s final pick.

Overall, this offseason seemed to fill many of the Lions’ needs in a very powerful way. So it’s not surprising that Brad Holmes’ work is held in high esteem throughout the NFL.

CONTINUE READING: Lions Rivals called overrated heading into 2022 season

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