The Detroit Lions were impressive all things considered in 2021. They had the odds stacked against them, with everyone writing them off after they traded longtime quarterback Matthew Stafford. Detroit played in a number of close games and could’ve easily ended up with seven or eight wins had a few plays gone differently.
That sentiment seems to not be shared by sportsbooks as DraftKings Sportsbook gives the Lions the worst odds to win the NFC North in 2022 with +1200 odds. Unsurprisingly they have the worst odds to win the NFC overall (+7000) and are tied for the worst odds to win Super Bowl 57 (+15000).
Detroit Lions free agency preview
Positional needs: Wide Receiver, Cornerback, Guard
The Lions went full-on rebuild heading into 2021 and they will be continuing on that path in the new NFL season. They need a quarterback of the future, but they should be available to plug that hole in the next two seasons through the draft. They really need to bring in a veteran wide receiver to help overhaul their pass-catchers and they need to work on their secondary. As is the case with most other NFL teams, they could always use help on their offensive line. They have about $20 million in cap space to work with and should be able to make some solid strides heading into Year 2 of the Dan Campbell era.
Players to target
T.Y. Hilton, WR
The Lions could also go after Chris Godwin or Allen Robinson, but I don’t think they should chip out that kind of money from their cap space on one position. If they were to pick up a former Indianapolis Colts player like Hilton or Zach Pascal, that would provide reliability to their receiving corps as they continue to help Amon-Ra St. Brown progress as a pro.
Darious Williams, CB
Williams is a solid corner that will be heading to his next team sporting a big ole Super Bowl 56 ring from his time with the Los Angeles Rams. He played in 14 games and had 71 tackles which are the second most among free-agent cornerbacks. He would check a lot of boxes for the Lions including talent and a player that is a veteran that can help their secondary improve.
Andrew Norwell, G
While the Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t do a lot right in 2021, Norwell is still a talented guard. He has the versatility to play either guard position and he could mentor the Lions' offensive line while giving the rest of his playing career to the franchise. I would sign him for a mid-level, multi-year deal and I think this veteran presence could have more intrinsic value going forward.