3 major fixes Lions must make this offseason to reach the NFL playoffs in 2022
The Detroit Lions haven’t fielded a competitive squad since Jim Caldwell was still the head coach back in 2017. From 2018 on, the Lions’ record is an abysmal 17-46-1, having placed dead last in the NFC North four years in a row. While the team looks a long way from playoff contention, there is still some hope they could reach the postseason in 2022, particularly if the Packers get dismantled in the offseason with potential Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams departures.
But while teams around the Lions could possibly be weakening, Detroit will still have to make significant improvements in key areas if they want a chance at the playoffs. The team can address some areas of need with their two first-round draft picks and five picks in the first three rounds. Making the most of those picks and adding some NFL-ready talent via the draft will be essential if the Lions want to make the monumental leap from bottom-feeder to playoff hopeful.
With that in mind, here are three major fixes the Lions must make in order to stun the league and reach the NFL playoffs in 2022.
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Lions Major Fixes for NFL Playoffs in 2022
3. Draft a quality EDGE rusher
With the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, the Lions are currently projected to have a chance at their pick of the best EDGE rushers in the 2022 class. The consensus top two early on into the process are Michigan’s Adrian Hutchinson and Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux. Both players look like home run prospects and could become forces of nature at the next level. The Lions struggled to get after the quarterback in 2021, with Charles Harris leading the team with 7.5 sacks. Harris is set to hit free agency, and even if the Lions do opt to keep him in town, adding a talented player like Hutchinson or Thibodeaux would immediately enhance their defense. With a pair of elite draft prospects in the upcoming class, the Lions have the chance to add a serious playmaker to their defensive unit, and should absolutely pursue one at pick No. 2.
2. Sign an experienced wide receiver
Amon-Ra St. Brown’s emergence as an elite talent at wide receiver was a huge boost for the Lions late into the 2021 season. What the team should do next is look to fortify the wide receivers room with even more talent, providing more weapons for their quarterback of the future, whenever that decision gets made. While the jury is still out on Goff as the future of the Lions, getting an experienced wide receiver to play opposite St. Brown would make the offense vastly more effective. A three-headed monster of St. Brown, T.J. Hockenson, and an experienced talent like Allen Robinson, Christian Kirk, or even A.J. Green could be an effective trio for the Lions if they’re looking to make a push for the playoffs.
1. Sign Marcus Williams in free agency
Safety is an area of need for the Lions, especially with Tracy Walker set to hit free agency. The Lions could fix their issue at the position for the long haul by going out and getting the best safety on the market in former New Orleans Saints star Marcus Williams. Of course, Williams will have a plethora of teams vying for his signature, but if Dan Campbell can convince the star safety to join the Lions, it would be a massive coup for a team looking to build into contenders. Last year in New Orleans, Williams featured in 16 games, recording 74 tackles, eight pass defenses, two interceptions, and one forced fumble. He’s started all 76 games he’s played in for the Saints, emerging as one of the best safeties in football.
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