The NFL labor issues are finally done, and free agency is next. The Lions are in better position than they have been in recent memory, but they do have work that needs to be done. Let’s look at the positions of need for the Lions as well as potential targets for them when free agency opens. One point to remember, the rosters are up to 90 players due to the lockout, so there will be a lot of activity at the lower ends of the rosters.
Quarterback:The Lions are set with Matthew Stafford and Shaun Hill, the only variable is Drew Stanton, who is an unrestricted free agent. Stanton has said he would like to return to Detroit, but in a quarterback needy offseason there may be a team that wants to roll the dice on him after his play late last season. If Stanton goes elsewhere, the Lions have Zac Robinson on the roster but they could look at other young players.
- Drew Stanton – Lions would prefer to have him back as he knows the offense and proved his ability to keep the team afloat in case of injury.
- Pat Devlin – Devlin is an undrafted rookie free agent who could be attractive to the Lions as a developmental quarterback.
Running Backs:Again the Lions are set at running back at the top of the depth chart but could add depth or camp competition. The position of most interest in the backfield will be fullback, even thought the Lions like Jerome Felton’s versatility. Felton is a good jack of all trades, but he isn’t a punishing blocker and he’s been unreliable as a runner and a receiver. If a proven versatile fullback is available the Lions could take a look, or bring in a young guy to push Felton.
Receivers: The Lions have four out of five receiver positions spoken for and all three tight end positions are filled. That leaves the fourth receiver slot open for the Lions and they have two candidates on the roster for that position, Bryant Johnson and Derrick Williams. Johnson has a huge cap number, so he may be out of the running if he doesn’t renegotiate before camp.
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