6 top free agent , waiver wire targets for Detroit Lions

  • While teams around the NFL have completed  Authentic Kerryon Johnson Jersey their final preseason cuts and set their initial 53-man rosters, the roster that teams plan on opening the season with are all but completed. Over 1,100 players just became available and while a majority of them do not have what it takes to contribute at the NFL level there are a few hidden gems in there. Detroit still has a few needs on it’s roster, and while none of the players available will be stars—otherwise they wouldn’t be available—there still is some talent out there the Lions could use.Brian Robison (DE – Vikings)The Vikings choosing to let go of defensive end Brian Robison on cut day was probably the most shocking move made league wide. While Robison doesn’t have the stand out talent that his former teammates Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen have, coming off of the edge he still has a lot to contribute. The 11-year veteran has spent his entire NFL career as a Viking. Rumors emerged early in summer that the 2018 season might be his last but Detroit would be smart to let him finish his career in the Motor City.Robison had 4.0 sacks last season and was a member of the Vikings devastating pass rush rotation. He was on the field for majority of their passing downs and still has a lot in the tank. Their will be a market for his talents and Detroit will have some competition for his services. If the Lions can grab him, though, then he can bring some of the pass rushing help they desperately need. Michael Johnson (DE – Bengals)The Cincinnati Bengals are a team with a wealth of talent on the defensive line and unfortunately some of that talent had to go. Michael Johnson became the odd man out in Cincinnati and their loss may be a huge gain for Detroit. Johnson is a versatile defensive end that can also take a lot of snaps on the interior. He had 5.0 sacks and 35 total tackles last season as he started 15 games for the Bengals. Johnson’s versatility would allow him to fill a similar role to the one that Robert Ayers would have filled for Detroit if he survived more than a day on the roster. He gives the Lions some needed pass penetration from the interior while also having the ability to rush from the edge. Johnson could easily start on this team and would possibly walk in the locker room as the team’s best defensive lineman. Marquis Flowers (LB - Patriots)New England made a surprise last minute cut at the 4 pm deadline by choosing to let go of linebacker Marquis Flowers. Flowers played in all 16 games for New England last season and totaled 3.5 sacks and 23 total tackles. He was acquired by the Patriots for a seventh round pick from the Cincinnati Bengals before the 2017 season. The former sixth round pick over performed his draft placement last season but New England ultimately decided to go in another direction. It is likely that Lions will take interest in him due to his familiarity playing under Matt Patricia. Flowers is a decent coverage linebacker, a place where the Lions need a lot of help at the moment. It is possible that he would be able to compete with Christian Jones for the weakside linebacker role if he is brought into Detroit. If anything he will provide depth at a position the Lions are especially thin at.Scooby Wright (LB – Cardinals)The Arizona Cardinals choosing to waive linebacker Scooby Wright on Friday was a surprising move. He was arguably one of the best backup linebackers on the roster and had a great preseason. Wright was a sixth-round pick by the Cleveland Browns in the 2016 draft but was waived and put on the practice squad early into his rookie season. The Cardinals grabbed him off of their practice squad and bounced him between the active roster and practice squad all of the 2017 season. Wright plays a majority of his snaps as a middle linebacker and will help solidify a position that the Lions are incredibly shallow at. He can back up Jarrad Davis and is a young talent that may be able to develop into a future role player.Vincent Valentine (DT - Patriots)Defensive tackle is the weakest position on the Lions roster at the moment and Vincent Valentine can provide some of the depth they desperately need. Valentine was drafted by the Patriots in the third round in 2016. He didn’t play much in his rookie season and ended up finishing the year with one sack and 11 total tackles. A knee injury he suffered in 2017 preseason cost him his sophomore year and the Patriots chose to waive him entering the season. Valentine is still a player with a lot of potential and has experience playing with Patricia in the past. It is unsure whether or not the knee injury he suffered has any long-term concerns, but adding a pass penetrating defensive tackle, something the Lions lack at the moment, would be a huge boost to the team’s front seven. Clive Walford (TE – Jets)Tight end is easily the weakest position on the Detroit Lions offense at the moment. The status of probable starter Luke Willson is still in doubt after he suffered a knee injury in the preseason, and other than UDFA Hakeem Valles, no one else stood out at all over the past month. Clive Walford was just released by the Jets after signing with them early in the offseason. Walford is coming off of a down year in Oakland, only catching nine passes for 80 yards last season, but he has proven that he can contribute in the past. In his first two seasons in the NFL, he caught 51 passes for 688 yards and six touchdowns. Walford won’t be a star at tight end but he will add some receiving talent into the rotation. None of the Lions current tight ends have proven themselves as effective receivers in the past either Authentic Matthew Stafford Jersey , and Walford could easily be the second best guy on the team. If Willson’s knee injury is serious, then the Lions will need to add a player of Walford’s caliber to help the offense.2019 NFL Draft Watch: 5 prospects to watch during Week 5 #12 West Virginia at #25 Texas Tech, 12:00 p.m. EST, ESPN2West Virginia QB Will Grier, 6-foot-2, 232 pounds (RS Senior)Grier is having a great start to his senior campaign, currently leading the Big 12 in passing touchdowns (14), completion percentage (74.7), yards per attempt (11.8) and passing efficiency (215.8)—he’s also top-five in the NCAA in all of these categories.Though he wasn’t much of a household name to start the year, Grier’s hot start is earning him some early Heisman buzz. He has shown the ability to throw accurately in a clean pocket, but also with a defender in his face. Grier is a solid athlete and is able to escape the pocket to make plays with his feet if needed, and he has also been praised for some of his intagibles—his leadership included.If I were a betting man—and I am—I would put a sizable amount of money on the Lions drafting a QB in the later rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft. They already have professional clipboard holders backing up Matthew Stafford, but what they need is some real, honest to god talent at the backup QB spot. Grier may be available later in the draft, and would be an immediate upgrade at throwing the ball over both Matt Cassel and Jake Rudock. Texas TechS Jah’Shawn Johnson, 5-foot-10 Womens Sylvester Williams Jersey , 185 pounds (Senior)Johnson is the heart and soul of the Texas Tech defense and you can see their struggles when they’re missing him. When the Red Raiders got him back for their matchup against Oklahoma State in Week4—after recovering from his shoulder injury—there was a noticeable improvement all across the secondary. Here’s what TTU head coach, Kliff Kingsbury, had to say about his defense following their win over OSU:Although a bit undersized, Johnson is sticky and plays the ball well in man coverage and is quick to close in zone, always making himself one of the first players to the ball on defense. The Lions are going to need help at safety with Quin possibly regressing and Tavon Wilson struggling at times. The front office will love Johnson’s ability to play the pass, the run, and even provide some value as a pass rusher. He’s as versatile as they come and would be a great addition to Patricia’s secondary.#4 Ohio State at #9 Penn State, 7:30 p.m. EST, ABCOhio StateWell, we already highlighted Nick Bosa back in Week 1, and while it’s early, I feel pretty confident right now that Bosa would be long gone by the time the Lions are on the board at the end of the first round—32nd overall pick, obviously. So let’s focus on some other draft-eligible prospects from OSU.RB Mike Weber, 5-foot-10, 214 pounds (RS Junior)With the Lions possibly parting ways with Ameer Abdullah after this year and having LeGarrette Blount on a one-year rental—and the slight chance of maybe getting rid of Theo Riddick, who may be seen as a cap casualty to some—there is a possibility the Lions may have a hole at the RB position heading into next year’s draft Color Rush Ricky Jean Francois Jersey , despite trading up for Kerryon Johnson in the second round in 2018. I have a hard time believing the Lions would snag another RB in the early rounds, but I wouldn’t be surprised should they look for one a little later on.Weber’s small stature and injury concerns could push him down into the mid-to-late rounds of the draft, and could be a solid option for the Lions if they’re looking for extra depth. Kerryon has been lights out for the Lions in all phases of the game. Whether it’s running up the middle, getting outside on a toss play, or setting up on a screen to utilize his speed in the open field, Johnson has done it all—including lining up as a receiver and in pass protection.Weber is a little more one-dimensional and is more of a pure runner. When he’s healthy, he is extremely tough to bring down. He runs with a low center of gravity and has very good contact balance, often maximizing his yardage for the Buckeyes offense. If the Lions are serious about improving the run game for years to come, and are looking to get younger at the position, Weber would be a nice addition and could possibly be had in the mid-to-later rounds of the draft.IDL Robert Landers, 6-foot-1, 283 pounds (RS Junior)Landers isn’t the type of defensive lineman that Bob Quinn or Matt Patricia have been adding recently, per se. He’s more of an explosive pass rusher, and as you can see, not quite as heavy as the types of D-linemen the Lions have been looking for. However, while he is an exciting pass rusher and has an elite first step Youth Matthew Stafford Jersey , Landers is also very strong and difficult to move at the point of attack. His hand usage is above-average, and he does a nice job of staying low to gain leverage.Landers should be available for Saturday night’s game after dealing with an undisclosed injury and missing last week’s win over Tulane, despite being listed as “probable.”Penn StateCB Amani Oruwariye, 6-foot-1, 203 pounds (RS Senior)Oruwariye has seen plenty of game action for the Nittany Lions, but this is his first year starting and has already made a name for himself notching three turnovers (two interceptions, one forced fumble) in four games. He has great size for the position, decent speed, and doesn’t appear to be lacking as an athlete. Oruwariye is constantly glued to his receiver. Combine that with his impressive wingspan, superior leaping ability, and magnificent ball skills, he’s got a chance to disrupt nearly every pass thrown his way.Though his calling card appears to be his ability to shut down opposing receivers in man-coverage right now, he’s not a shy tackler by any means, and his willingness and ability to make tackles in the open field is one of Oruwariye’s many strengths.