The Detroit Lions filled out a ton of needs in the 2021 NFL Draft, but not everything can be accomplished in one draft, especially when a team is operating with a limited number of picks.
Detroit managed to do as best as they could to fill needs of a team that has multiple holes on offense and defense. One spot that may not have been addressed the way people wanted to see was the safety spot. Detroit might still have a clear need for one player at the spot, and it’s possible they could dip into the market soon.
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After the draft, Chris Burke of The Athletic hinted that it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Lions look to make a defensive upgrade in the weeks ahead in free agency at the spot of safety. That’s due to the fact there could be several good options left for the team at the spot.
Wouldn’t be surprised if they dipped back into free agency at safety once the comp-pick window closes on May 3. Hooker (if he’s 100%), McDougald, Boston, Parks — still a bunch of veteran free agents who could step in a help. https://t.co/UIonfrShWU
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) May 2, 2021
Detroit was likely waiting until the compensatory pick formula wound down in order o make another play, and it’s a smart move given the picks the team figures to rack up in 2021 from losing multiple top free agents.
Top Free Agent Safeties Left on the Market
The Lions don’t have a shortage of good options to think about if they want to double back and make an addition. Tre Boston, Malik Hooker, Will Parks, Justin Simmons and Bradley McDougald are just some of the names that could be of interest to Detroit. Boston already has a potential connection to Detroit’s staff given he played for Anthony Lynn with the Chargers. Hooker is the youngest option, but he has had injury troubles limit him in his career. All the players left have certain warts, but theoretically, all of them could also help play a key role for a Lions team in need of some depth at the spot.
In the end, Boston or Hooker might be the player that makes the most sense for the team, both from an age and scheme fit perspective.
Lions Defensive Backfield Could Use More Depth
Though many think an addition is a must, Detroit is in a decent spot at safety with a couple of young players in Tracy Walker as well as Will Harris, but that doesn’t mean an addition couldn’t be made this offseason to help chip in with those players for 2021. Detroit also didn’t draft a rookie at the spot, meaning they could be looking for a veteran to come in and give the team some meaningful snaps. In the draft, the Lions selected Ifeatu Melifonwu who has the size for safety, but the Lions could look at him more as a cornerback prospect, leaving an opening for another addition. Detroit added speedy defensive back D’Angelo Amos in undrafted free agency to compete as well.
The draft class had a few safety prospects to rely on, but the Lions ignored them in favor of other needs. A veteran player could be the ideal next play for the Lions if they want to create the kind of depth situation that could benefit them moving forward in 2021.
Keep an eye on the safety spot for perhaps another post-draft addition in the weeks ahead.
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