Earlier this week, we started to prep for the upcoming draft by reviewing what the San Francisco 49ers 2015 opponents had done in free agency. Today, we continue that process by reviewing the Detroit Lions.
Free Agency Review
The Lions, for a strictly free agency standpoint, have not done much this offseason. They have been in the headlines more for the players that they let go rather than the players that they signed. The biggest losses came on the d-line: Ndamukong Suh left to make a ton of money from the Miami Dolphins and Nick Fairly left to make much less from the St. Louis Rams.
To counteract these losses, the Lions made a surprising move: they traded for Haloti Ngata from the Baltimore Ravens for a fourth round pick and a fifth round pick. Additionally, the Lions signed DT Tyrunn Walker, CB Josh Wilson and LB Brandon Copeland.
There are some big names up there, all circulating around the d-line. But, besides that, the Lions haven't been too busy. 49er fans will probably have heard of them most this offseason due to the Reggie Bush signing, who played with the Lions last season, and was cut this offseason. The Lions did re-sign several of their own players, most notably: CB Rashean Mathis, S Isa Abdul-Quddus, OLB Josh Bynes, QB Kellen Moore, and QB Danny Orlovsky.
The Lions have six draft picks, five of which are their own and one of which they acquired from Baltimore (it was originally Miami's pick - the terror of understanding seventh round draft trades!). They are missing their fourth and fifth round picks, having sent those to the Baltimore Ravens for Haloti Ngata.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Round 2 - Pick 54
Round 3 - Pick 88
Round 6 - Pick 199
Round 7 - Pick 231 (from Miami via Baltimore)
Round 7 - Pick 240
Losing two players on the d-line has to hurt, but I imagine that the 49ers are looking to Ngata to solve those problems. Look for the Lions, however, to shore up their offensive line in the last weeks of free agency and in the draft. They still have some options there (including bringing back Rob Sims), but the Lions may want more competition. Re-signing CB Rashean Mathis means that the Lions don't have an immediate need in the backfield, but they may want to bring in some youth in the draft at the CB position.