Heller’s Three Burning Questions 3.0: Detroit Lionsby Joe Heller June 16, 2021 1 comment
With the 2021 NFL Draft over and the schedule officially being released, it’s time for my third annual 32 part series where the top three questions will be posed for each NFL team. Here are those three questions for the Detroit Lions.
Be sure to check out all of Heller’s Three Burning Questions.
New Face of the Franchise?
In a surprise move, the Detroit Lions traded 2006 No. 1 overall pick and face of the franchise Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams. The return was the Rams’ former No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Jared Goff. Thus, much of the speculation is that Stafford and the Rams got the better end of the deal. But in the Motor City, the new regime, led by first-time head coach Dan Campbell, has all the confidence in their new signal-caller.
The Lions revamped their receiving corps. Gone are Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. Now, in are former Tennessee Titans receiver Kalif Raymond, along with former New York Jets wideout Breshad Perriman and Las Vegas Raiders slot receiver Tyrell Williams. Goff in L.A. benefited from a top defense, solid running game, and top-notch receivers. It will be interesting to see how well he transitions.
Can the Running Game Have Success?
After sharing the backfield last season that included future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson, D’Andre Swift is now the No. 1 back on the depth chart. In his rookie season, he made the most of his touches. On just 114 carries, he totaled over 500 yards and eight touchdowns. Plus, he was also pretty effective in catching the ball as well. He had 46 catches for just under 400 yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns.
With more opportunities in his sophomore season, he will likely be a 1,000-yard back. Additionally, former Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams will share the carries with Swift.
What About the Defense?
The new regime only minorly addressed the defense. They added former Rams run-stopping defensive tackle Michael Brockers via trade. The run defense was one of the areas opposing teams were able to exploit last season. They also spent a handful of draft picks to add depth defensively. The secondary is led by the third overall pick in the 2020 Draft, Jeff Okudah. Before going down for the season with a groin injury that required surgery, he was living up to the high selection. In just nine games, he tallied 47 tackles.
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