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Detroit Lions’ Offseason Blueprint

Updated: Aug 2, 2019

Photo Courtesy of Pat Pryor

Written By: Jake Leicht

The Detroit Lions’ 2018 season was full of ups-and-downs under first year coach Matt Patricia. Offensively, the Lions took a step back, though they did add what looks to be their next franchise running back in Kerryon Johnson in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Matthew Stafford really struggled with his intermediate pass accuracy, and it did not help that the Lions traded Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles in the middle of the season. The offensive line held up pretty well given the fact that they dealt with injuries all season long. Defensively, the Lions were a train wreck. They were one of the league’s worst teams in terms of their pass defense. Detroit did not have anyone that got to the passer on a regular basis, and their secondary struggled given the fact that they were in coverage without a pass rush so often. The Lions have many holes on their roster. This will be one of their most important off-seasons in quite some time.

Available Salary Cap Space- $31.7 million

Free Agents


Ezekiel Ansah- Pass Rusher

Luke Willson- Tight End

LeGarrette Blount- Running Back

TJ Jones- Wide Receiver

Levine Toilolo- Tight End

Marcus Cooper- Cornerback

Matt Cassel- Quarterback

Don Muhlbach- Long Snapper

Zach Zenner- Running Back

Nick Bellore- Fullback

Ricky Jean Francois- Defensive Tackle

Kelvin Sheppard- Inside Linebacker

Deshawn Shead- Cornerback

Bruce Ellington- Wide Receiver

Eli Harold- Pass Rusher

Andrew Donnal- Offensive Guard


Jerome Cunningham- Tight End

Kerry Hyder- Defensive Tackle

Romeo Okwara- Defensive End


Charles Washington- Cornerback

Potential Cap Casualties (Bold = Dead Money, Italics = Cap Gain)

T.J. Lang- Offensive Guard ($2.67 mill) ($8.84 mill)

Glover Quin- Free Safety ($1.67 mill) ($6.25 mill)

Nevin Lawson- Cornerback ($1.13 mill) ($4.12 mill)

Theo Riddick- Running Back ($962,500) ($3.41 mill)

Tavon Wilson- Strong Safety ($875,000) ($2.9 mill)

*All figures for cap purposes are taken as pre-June 1st, unless otherwise stated. All cap figures courtesy of, unless otherwise stated*

Team Needs

5-7 Needs

Pass Rusher


Offensive Guard

Tight End

Wide Receiver

Free Safety

Draft pick Allotment

1st Round #8 (8)

2nd Round #11 (43)

3rd Round #25 (89)

4th Round #9 (105)

5th Round #8 (136)

6th Round #11 (171)

6th Round #32 (192)

7th Round #10 (202)

7th Round #20 (212)

*Compensatory Pick Projection courtesy of Nick Korte of

Mock Offseason

Coaches Hired/Fired IF APPLICABLE

Players Re-signed

Bruce Ellington- Wide Receiver

Zach Zenner- Running Back

Nick Bellore- Fullback

Kelvin Sheppard- Inside Linebacker

Eli Harold- Edge Rusher

Cap Casualties

T.J. Lang- Offensive Guard ($2.67 mill) ($8.84 mill)

Glover Quin- Free Safety ($1.67 mill) ($6.25 mill)

Nevin Lawson- Cornerback ($1.13 mill) ($4.12 mill)

Theo Riddick- Running Back ($962,500) ($3.41 mill)

Tavon Wilson- Strong Safety ($875,000) ($2.9 mill)


Trade #1

Detroit Lions get: 2019 1st (6th overall), 4th, 5th round picks and a 2020 3rd round pick

New York Giants get: Matthew Stafford

Trade #2

Detroit Lions get: 2019 1st (15th overall), 2nd round pick and a 2020 5th round pick

Washington Redskins get: 2019 1st (6th overall)

Free Agent Targets

Trey Flowers- Edge Rusher (Patriots)

Even though I believe the Lions will look to draft an edge rusher early on in the 2019 NFL Draft, they actually have a need for two pass rushers. I am not sure that Trey Flowers will hit free agency, but if he does, he is an obvious fit in a huge position of need for Matt Patricia’s defense.

Tyrod Taylor- Quarterback (Browns)

In this blueprint, the Lions have traded Matthew Stafford. If this happens, they will need a temporary replacement. Tyrod Taylor would be a perfect fit for the Lions’ smash mouth, play-action offense.

Kwon Alexander- Linebacker (Buccaneers)

The Lions need help at nearly every defensive position. Adding a top talent a linebacker to man the middle of the field would be a huge get for the Lions. Alexander fits that mold.

Mock Draft

1st Round (Pick 8): Clelin Ferrell, Edge Rusher (Clemson)

1st Round (Pick 15): Byron Murphy, Cornerback (Washington)

2nd Round: Irv Smith, Tight End (Alabama)

2nd Round (from the Redskins): Taylor Rapp, Safety (Washington)

3rd Round: Michael Deiter, Guard (Wisconsin)

4th Round (from the Giants): Andy Isabella, Wide Receiver (UMass)

4th Round: Clayton Thorson, Quarterback (Northwestern)

5th Round (from the Giants): Cameron Smith, Linebacker (USC)

5th Round: Karan Higdon, Running Back (Michigan)

6th Round: Daylon Mack, Defensive Tackle (Texas A&M)

7th Round: Cole Tracy, Kicker (LSU)

Keep a lookout for more offseason blueprints as we get closer to the start of the new league year!



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