Massive Addition: Lions In On Agreement To Sign Experienced Veteran DE In Free Agency

Massive Addition: Lions In On Agreement To Sign Experienced Veteran DE In Free Agency

The Detroit Lions have few weak places on their roster as they enter the 2024 season, but one analyst says they can solve one on their defensive line by adding an eight-year veteran.

In a June 26 mailbag essay, writer Albert Breer outlined Detroit’s roster problems and praised general manager Brad Holmes for effectively addressing them. The Lions might benefit from a more experienced defensive lineman to complement Aidan Hutchinson. Yannick Ngakoue could be a good fit.

Lions Could Use Some Pass Rush Help

While Hutchinson has emerged as a breakout star in Detroit over the past two seasons, Breer highlighted that the team has struggled to add quality depth among pass rushers.

“Right now, the Lions would probably start Marcus Davenport there, which isn’t a huge problem, but probably requires a little more depth,” according to Breer.

Breer said that bringing in a veteran like Ngakoue or Emmanuel Ogbah “would make some sense,” as it would put more pressure on passing downs and provide another starting option if Davenport is unable to remain healthy.

“It would help the Lions protect against Davenport’s extensive injury history, and also add to what the team could do on passing downs,” Breer pointed out. “And if things go according to plan this year, the defense will be seeing a lot of those situations.”

Ngakoue is coming off a season in which he recorded 22 total tackles and 4.0 sacks in 13 games with the Chicago Bears. Prior to 2023, the former Pro Bowler had been a consistent performer, with at least 8.0 sacks in each of his first seven NFL seasons.

Aidan Hutchinson Out to Improve After Career-Best Season

Hutchinson followed up on his excellent rookie season by hitting a new career high with 11.5 sacks in 2023, but he believes he still has room to improve in 2024.

“I believe the entire year was a period of growth. I believe there was some difficulties as a team and individual. Hutchinson told Dannie Rogers of that he felt compelled to learn as quickly as possible. “However, I genuinely appreciate the process. That is exactly what it is all about. I feel like I made a lot of progress this year.

“[But] I believe there are still many levels to uncover. So I’m looking forward to continuing to develop my potential.”

Over the last two years, the Lions have made significant upgrades to their defense, bolstering what was formerly one of the league’s worst teams with high-profile free agent signings. The Lions’ better defense helped them win the NFC Championship last season, and head coach Dan Campbell says they have even higher goals for this year.

“I don’t see a bust; I see the Super Bowl. “I’m not sure what a bust is,” Campbell replied.

“Every team should have that. Every team should be like, “Man, what are you playing for?” You are playing for the Super Bowl. We’re no different from them.”

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