header
header
header
> >
#1 Posted by elaine95 7 months 2 weeks ago
elaine95
508 Forum posts
We hand out grades for each position on defense given Detroit’s current roster."On Monday Sylvester Williams Jersey , I went through the Detroit Lions’ roster that has a lot of promise, but unproven talent on offense. With a new offensive coordinator in town, all that potential could boom or bust depending just how quickly everyone is able to get on board. Now let’s turn our attention to the defense, which has gone through drastic changes in the past two years. Change doesn’t always mean improvement, however, so let’s go through each position and give our grades for each.Note: Because so many players will be playing multiple positions, I’ve narrowed down things into three simple categories: defensive line, linebackers and defensive backs. Again, I’m not including undrafted free agent signings, as those remain unofficial.Defensive lineStarters: Trey Flowers, A’Shawn Robinson, Damon Harrison Sr., Devon KennardBackups: Da’Shawn Hand, Romeo Okwara, Austin Bryant (R), Mitchell Loewen, Eric Lee, Jonathan Wynn, PJ Johnson (R), John AtkinsStarter grade: A-Depth grade: A-I’ve already heard a lot of people say this defense doesn’t have enough playmakers, and I don’t think I could disagree more. The Lions’ starting front four has two household names in Snacks Harrison and Trey Flowers. While A’Shawn Robinson and Devon Kennard (who I’m considering part of the defensive line as an EDGE defender) are both a step down in terms of play-making ability, they’re both perfect fits for this defense and have each shown signs of being very efficient. Add in that Robinson is on a contract year, and you may continue to see his play improve in 2019.The depth is just as impressive. Da’Shawn Hand’s playing time in 2019 may look indistinguishable from a starter, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him earn a starting role by the end of the season. Okwara was an efficient player that the Lions made a priority to re-sign. Fourth-round rookie Austin Bryant brings potential and production from his long career with Clemson, and PJ Johnson could potentially slip into the final 53-man roster as a “Snacks” protege. LinebackersStarters: Jarrad Davis, Christian JonesBackups: Jahlani Tavai (R), Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Steve Longa, Garret Dooley, Tre WilliamsStarter grade: C-Depth grade: CWhile linebackers aren’t considered all that important in this defense, the Lions’ situation is still a little precarious. It essentially all rides on the hopes of second-round rookie Jahlani Tavai. Davis and Jones have been, at best Ricky Wagner Jersey , adequate, and, at worst, a liability. Davis did seem to get his footing in Patricia’s defense towards the end of last season, especially when they used him in more of a pass rushing role. Jones has pretty much been an average player since coming to Detroit.Tavai may eventually give Davis the freedom to roam around and do what he does best, but he’s a big gamble, especially in his rookie year. His tape is all over the place, and you never know how much of an impact Tavai can make right away, especially in an undefined role. If the gamble pays off, the Lions could be in great shape here, but there’s plenty of reason for caution right now.SecondaryStarters: Darius Slay, Rashaan Melvin, Justin Coleman, Quandre Diggs, Tracy WalkerDepth: Amani Oruwariye (R), Mike Ford, Jamal Agnew, Tavon Wilson, Will Harris (R), Andrew Adams, Charles Washington, Miles Killebrew, Teez Tabor, David Jones, Dee Virgin, Marcus Cooper, Andre ChachereStarter grade: B+Depth: AWith the addition of Justin Coleman and a larger potential role for Tracy Walker, there’s little doubt in my mind that the Lions’ secondary has improved from last year. The big question remains at that second outside corner spot. Melvin is coming off a troubling year with the Raiders, but looked legit in his previous seasons with the Colts. Melvin is no lock to be the team’s Week 1 starter, however, as the Lions grabbed Amani Oruwariye in the fifth round. Depending on his training camp performance, the rookie from Penn State could compete for that spot.Depth-wise Quandre Diggs Jersey , the Lions have an embarrassment of riches. The aforementioned Oruwariye has starter potential, while Jamal Agnew brings plenty of special teams value. Additionally, the Lions re-signed Tavon Wilson to provide the room with experience and leadership. Andrew Adams is a nice under-the-radar signing with starter potential, and the Lions added third-round pick Will Harris to keep the unit young. With so many options coming off the bench — each versatile enough to line up in multiple roles — the Lions have several solid backups at every secondary position. This will almost certainly allow the team to move on from players whose development has stalled (Tabor, Killebrew) unless they show tremendous improvement this offseason.Overall defense grade: A-It’s not hard to see just how much this defense has transformed in the vision of Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia. Detroit now has a bunch of versatile options at nearly every position and, perhaps more importantly, the corresponding depth to go with it. By the season’s end, you are going to be so sick of the term “multiples” that it will probably trigger a Pavlovian gag reflex every time Patricia says it in a press conference. From an outsider’s perspective, I can see how some would scan this defensive roster and not be blown away. There are a bunch of underappreciated players on this roster (Snacks, Diggs, Slay), and the depth is really where the unit shines. This roster has top-10 potential and if the stars align, we could be talking even better than that.2018 Detroit Lions roster: Preseason Week 4 53-man roster prediction The Detroit Lions players have one more chance to impress their coaches and make their best case for a spot on the 53-man roster. Thursday night’s game against the Cleveland Browns could be the difference between employment and retirement for some players.But before we jump into post-game analysis, let’s take a look at where things stand prior to the game. Here’s my 53-man roster prediction based on performances throughout training camp and the first three preseason games. Quarterbacks (2)QB Matthew Stafford QB Matt Cassel QB Jake RudockChanges: NoneIt was nice to see Rudock go out there last week against the Buccaneers and lead a game-winning drive, but I already know who Rudock is, and he doesn’t belong on an NFL roster. Even though Matt Patricia talked up his outstanding studying behavior this week, the Lions need someone who can play. Cassel isn’t necessarily the answer, but if there are only two options, he’s the one. Running backs (5)RB Kerryon JohnsonRB Ameer AbdullahRB LeGarrette BlountRB Theo RiddickFB Nick BelloreRB Zach ZennerRB Dwayne WashingtonChanges: NoneNothing has changed my mind about any of these guys. This is the most clear-cut position on the team. Expect to see a lot of Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington Thursday night, as the other five backs will not only make the team, but could all be active on gamedays. Wide receivers (4)WR Marvin Jones Jr.WR Golden TateWR Kenny GolladayWR TJ JonesWR Teo ReddingWR Jace BillingsleyWR Brian BrownWR Chris LacyWR Brandon PowellWR Dontez FordWR Bradley MarquezChanges: NoneBrandon Powell has made a hell of a case to be the team’s fifth receiver, but I’m just not buying it. He’s too limited as a slot receiver only, making him far less valuable than TJ Jones, who could essentially fill in if any of the top three receivers go down. Powell’s return ability is a nice bonus, but the Lions are all set there, too. Ultimately, there’s just no space for Powell on this roster, despite his obvious talent. Cross your fingers and hope that he makes it to the practice squad. If not, the Lions don’t really lose out on anything in 2018.Tight ends (4)TE Michael RobertsTE Luke WillsonTE Levine ToiloloTE Hakeem VallesTE Marcus LucasTE Sean McGrathChanges: Valles in.I almost did it last time, but there’s no denying Hakeem Valles. Normally, I would downplay preseason performances from third or fourth-string players, but Valles was getting time with the first-team offense last week T.J. Hockenson Detroit Lions Jersey , and he remained productive. That’s all I needed to see to know this guy is not only making the team, but could be getting some targets once the regular season starts.I’m tempted to give Michael Roberts the boot here, but the Lions just don’t have enough talent at the tight end position to be kicking last year’s fourth-round pick to the curb. Offensive line (9)OT Taylor DeckerOT Rick WagnerOT Corey RobinsonOT Tyrell CrosbyOG T.J. LangG/C Graham GlasgowOG Frank RagnowG/C Leo KoloamatangiG Kenny WigginsOG Joe DahlOT Brian MihalikOT Jamar McGlosterOT Dan SkipperOL John MontelusC Wesley JohnsonChanges: Dahl out.Last prediction I kept 10 offensive linemen, but if this preseason has proven anything, it’s that the Lions’ offensive line depth just doesn’t have enough talent to justify that many roster spots. Joe Dahl is the odd man out after a very up-and-down preseason, while Kenny Wiggins hasn’t exactly been good, but he has significant starting experience.The question here is who will be the Lions’ backup center. Frank Ragnow obviously has positional versatility there, but so does Wesley Johnson and Leo Koloamatangi. Johnson seems to have been the first guy in throughout camp, but he’s play has been uninspiring, at best. Koloamatangi, too, has been inconsistent, but give me the guy with a higher upside. Defensive line (8)DE Ezekiel AnsahDE Anthony ZettelDE Kerry HyderDE/DT Da’Shawn HandDT A’Shawn RobinsonDT Ricky Jean FrancoisDT S
Log in to reply to this thread