NFL Offseason Preview: Detroit Lions
The NFL offseason is upon us, and teams will begin working to craft their 2023 rosters in the coming months. In this series of offseason previews, we will look at what each team has to work with and their biggest needs. Today we begin with the Detroit Lions offseason preview.
As a reminder, here are dates to keep in mind for the 2023 NFL offseason:
- March 7: deadline for teams to use the franchise tag
- March 13: legal tampering period opens
- March 15: NFL free agency begins and the new league year starts
- April 21: deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets
- April 27-29: NFL draft
- May 1: deadline for teams to exercise 5th-year options on 2020 first-round draft picks
- July 15: deadline for franchise tag players to sign an extension
You can find previous team’s offseason previews here: Bears | Bengals | Browns |
The Lions were a Seahawks loss away from a playoff berth. Still, even after that wasn’t possible, they finished strong by beating the Packers at Lambeau Field to end their season.
Detroit had one of the best offenses in the league in 2022. The Lions ranked fifth in the league in scoring, putting up 26.6 points per game. Detroit’s high-scoring offense helped them go 8-2 over the final 10 games of the season after a 1-6 start.
Jared Goff had one of the best years of his career and seems to be the long-term answer in Detroit. Still, the Lions have plenty of work to do on the other side of the ball before they can be taken seriously as a playoff contender in 2023.
Key Positional Needs
Here’s where the Lions need to find help this offseason:
Key Free Agents
Here’s a look at the Lions upcoming key free agents:
- DJ Chark (WR)
- Jamaal Williams (RB)
- Alex Anzalone (LB)
- Mike Hughes (CB)
- DeShon Elliot (S)
- Will Harris (S)
- Evan Brown (C)
- Isaiah Biggs (IDL)
- Brock Wright (TE)
Salary Cap & Draft Capital
Here’s a look at the salary cap room and draft capital that the Lions have to work with this offseason:
- Current draft picks: 6 (1), 18 (1), 48 (2), 55 (2), 81 (3), 154 (5), 183 (6), 194 (6)
- Cap space: $13.8M
The Lions’ defense ranked 28th in scoring, allowing 25.1 points per game. Will Harris, DeShon Elliot, and other defensive players will be free agents this season. Detroit must spend to get the defense up to par with the offense.
If Goff is indeed the long-term answer under center for Detroit, they have two picks (6, 18) in the top 20 in April in which they can invest in the defense. Detroit also has a pair of second-round picks that they can work with. All told, the Lions have four picks in the top 81 in the NFL Draft.
If the Lions have a strong offseason, they can be in the conversation for the NFC North title next season.
If you’re looking for more offseason reading, Sam Hoppen at 4for4 (one of our Betsperts companies) is previewing each division:
NFC North: Key Free Agents, Draft Picks & Needs, and Available Cap Space | 4for4