Team Needs: Detroit Lions
By: Stephen Zorio 
Posted: 2007-02-07
Category: Washington Redskins News
Between now and the 2007 NFL Draft, THN will be taking a look at all of the NFL teams' offseason needs. Up next is the team with the second overall pick in the draft, the Detroit Lions.

2006 Results: 3-13
2007 Projected Cap Status: $85,200,000 or $23,800,000 under the cap

2006 Season Recap:

Very little went right for the Detroit Lions last season, especially given that they lost two more games than they did in 2005. Rod Marinelli took the reigns last season touting a return to disciplined football and emphasizing fundamentals. Instead the team racked up 102 penalties and finished with the third most turnovers in the league. The team did feature the league's seventh-ranked passing offense under free-agent acquisition Jeff Kitna. However, they were dead last in the league in rushing, managing a paltry 70.6 yards a game. The team fired its offensive line coach and defensive coordinator at season's end but, to the dismay of some Lions fans, chose to retain GM Matt Millen despite his overseeing a team that has gone 24-72 since his arrival. The team holds the second pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, a slot loaded with options. That is fortunate as the team has many needs.

Team Needs:

1. Offensive Line – The Lions rushing game was basically non-existent and the team allowed 63 sacks. It is likely the team will retain OT Jeff Backus and C Dominic Raiola but the rest of the group is in need of an overhaul.

2. Defensive Line - The Lions utilize the Tampa Cover-2 defense which requires defensive lineman who can generate a consistent pass rush. Last season the defense amassed just 30 sacks as opposing teams completed nearly 67% of their passes against the Lions.

3. Running Back - Kevin Jones, the Lions 2004 first-round pick, suffered a foot injury which forced him to miss the final three games of 2006 and has raised some question about his ability to play in the 2007 season. The team also lacks depth at this position and must improve its rushing game to have any hope of success next season.


2007 Draft Picks:
1st Round -- 2nd Overall
2nd Round -- 34th Overall
3rd Round -- 66th Overall
4th Round -- 97th Overall
5th Round -- 129th Overall
6th Round -- 161st Overall
7th Round -- 193rd Overall

Free agency status:

UFA:
LB Boss Bailey
RB Aveion Cason
LB Donté Curry
OG Rick DeMulling
CB Jamar Fletcher
RB Arlen Harris
S Terrence Holt
OG Tyrone Hopson
WR Kevin Kasper
LB Alex Lewis
DB Jon McGraw
DE Cory Redding
FB Cory Schlesinger
DL Corey Smith

RFA:
LS Don Muhlback
DT Cleveland Pinkney
OT Blaine Saipaia
CB Kevin Smith

ERFA:
WR Ellis Devale
FB Will Matthews
TE Sean McHugh
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