Detroit Lions Offseason Needs: Defense headlines long list of needs

Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Alex Anzalone, Detroit Lions
Alex Anzalone #34 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Detroit Lions Offseason Needs: Linebackers

I say this is a need very loosely. The Lions can address this well before free agency begins, but upgrading the position, adding depth and securing who is already in place will be the emphasis.

The barrier with the Lions and their linebackers is simply free agency. Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Alex Anzalone were far and away the best linebackers on the Detroit defense, and arguably two of the best players on the entire team. The problem is they are both set to become free agents.

The duo combined for 160 tackles for the Lions this season and were two very bright spots on the defense. However, even if they resign the Lions shouldn’t stop there with the linebacking corps.

While Reeves-Maybin and Anzalone were impressive on the field, they weren’t always on the field. Reeves-Maybin played in 15 games while Anzalone appeared, and started, in 14. While missing two or three games isn’t a huge deal, Detroit needs to have depth ready and available at this position.

These are low-cost additions during the offseason. This need can be addressed through cheap free agency deals or late round draft picks. If someone falls, perhaps it becomes an early draft pick, but linebackers should be in the back of the Lions’ mind as something to keep an eye out for in the coming months.