Whole Nine Sports

2020 Detroit Lions Offseason Plan

Detroit Lions
Brandon Olsen
Follow him on Twitter @WNS_Brandon
Follow Whole Nine Sports on Twitter @WholeNineSports

Lions Team Needs:


Available Draft Picks:

1.3, 2.35, 3.67, 4.106, 5.149, 5.172, 6.182

Lions Starting Cap Space:



Lions trade 1.3 to MIA for picks 1.5, 1.26, and 3.70

Assuming this is a draft day trade, with Chase Young going at 2, Detroit could likely pull in some nice draft capital in a short trade down. Accumulating early picks would be well worth the trade down, especially since you could likely still get one of the top prospects Detroit could be eyeing. While it may seem like Detroit is pulling off highway robbery, the value of the third pick goes up significantly with a potential bidding war and the quarterback premium.


Rick Wagner Lions

OT Rick Wagner to save $6,100,000

Simply put, Wagner is someone who could be easily replaced. Whether you bring in a new tackle or let Tyrell Crosby take over for the season, Wagner isn’t performing anywhere close to his price tag.


Tavon Wilson Lions

S Tavon Wilson for 1 year, $3,500,000 (100% GTD)

S/LB Miles Killebrew for 1 year, $820,000 (No GTD)

CB Dee Virgin for ERFA 1 year, $660,000 (No GTD)

Tavon Wilson would be brought back almost exclusively to maintain a leadership role while the safety room is inexperienced and in flux in Detroit. Killebrew and Virgin are both cheap depth pieces that should be worth keeping around while hoping that they only really see the field on special teams.

Free Agent Signings:

Bud Dupree
Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

EDGE Bud Dupree for 4 years, $66,400,000 ($48M GTD)

LB Patrick Onwuasor for 3 years, $14,400,000 ($12M GTD)

Even though this team invested in Trey Flowers last season, the pass-rush is still lacking. (Not Flowers’ specialty or fault) Adding Bud Dupree into the mix means that this front four should be able to generate plenty of pressure on their own. Onwuasor would give Detroit the best coverage linebacker they’ve had since DeAndre Levy was roaming around in the second level. Having Onwuasor only the field would also free up Jarrad Davis more as an interior blitzer, which is somehow the best part of his game.

Draft Results:

Jeff Okudah

Pick 1.5 – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State

Personally, I have Okudah as the second-best player in the class. For this season, the Lions would have both Darius Slay and Jeff Okudah on the outside. After the 2020 season? Who knows, but at least by drafting Okudah now the Lions not only have an immediate starter and instantly one of the top cornerback duos in the league, but they also have the replacement of their current #1. Jeff Okudah winds up where he belongs.

Josh Jones

Pick 1.26 – Josh Jones, OT, Houston

Whether you expect Josh Jones to step in immediately as a right tackle or you’re preparing to replace Taylor Decker when his contract expires, Jones looked like a first round talent at the Senior Bowl. Currently Jones has a late 1st-early 2nd from me, so this is right in his wheelhouse.

Brandon Aiyuk

Pick 2.35 – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

Aiyuk is one of the shiftiest route runners in the 2020 Draft. His ability to work within the slot and find ways to get open, especially short, should help this offense a ton. I’d expect Aiyuk, in this offense, to be a high-volume target on the interior that tests defenses underneath , forcing them to adjust and possibly leaving Golladay and Jones Jr. left with more one-on-one opportunities.

Kyle Dugger Lions

Pick 3.67 – Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne

Dugger is a fairly polarizing prospect because he came out of nowhere onto the draft scene with a Senior Bowl invite, which is when most people first heard of him. A lot of people have him going round two but at the moment, my grade has him ending up in the third, he’s a good player and he’s one of those hybrid LB/S types but I think people may have fallen in love with the small-school story more than the film. He’s still a banger in the run game with above-average coverage ability, in a Matt Patricia defense, I think he’d excel. For those unfamiliar, think of a worse version of Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons.

Troy Dye

Pick 3.70 – Troy Dye, LB, Oregon

Early in his career, I’d be surprised if Dye saw a role as an every-down backer, but his skillset is a great fit for today’s NFL. Dye is one of the best coverage linebackers in the Draft and would look to transition well into the NFL, primarily as a nickel linebacker.

Eno Benjamin

Pick 4.106 – Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona State

A do-it-all back, Eno Benjamin should have no problem finding a way to be an immediate contributor in the NFL. With great vision and patience, along with the ability to hold his own in pass protection, Benjamin could be an impact player early on in Detroit.

Shea Patterson

Pick 5.149 – Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan

Following a roller-coaster college career, Shea Patterson is one of the most polarizing prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft. During Senior Bowl week, Shea Patterson had some of those throws that makes people wonder how he was a starting quarterback, but then he made some throws that you know NFL teams are going to see and think “We can make this guy an NFL quarterback”. In this scenario, the team that makes that decision is the team that coached him in the Senior Bowl.

Keith Ismael

Pick 5.172 – Keith Ismael, IOL, San Diego State

The interior offensive line is a bit of  a question mark in Detroit for the present and the future. Drafting Keith Ismael out of San Diego State should help answer some questions as far as the future of the interior offensive line is concerned. Ismael looks like he has the skillset and potential to step in immediately as a low-level while growing into a better player. With size, athleticism, and two First-Team All-Mountain West appearances in tow, Ismael could be blocking for the Lions for a long time.

Braden Mann

Pick 6.182 – Braden Mann, P, Texas A&M

As foolish as some people think it might be for a team to draft a punter, especially a team that looks to have as many holes as the Detroit Lions, Mann has one of the best legs in the Draft. With the ability to pound the ball into the sky, boom it across the field, or pin it in the corner, Mann’s talent would be appreciated by the defense on a weekly basis.

Cap Space Spent on Re-signings:


Cap Space Spent on Free Agents:


Cap Space Spent on Draft Picks:


Total Cap Remaining:



MAtthew Stafford Lions

QB: Matthew Stafford

RB: Kerryon Johnson

Pass Catchers

Kenny Golladay Lions
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

WR1:  Kenny Golladay

WR2: Marvin Jones

Slot WR: Brandon Aiyuk

TE1: T.J. Hockenson

TE2: Jesse James/Logan Thomas

Offensive Line

Taylor Decker Lions

LT: Taylor Decker

LG: Keith Ismael

C: Frank Ragnow

RG: Joe Dahl/Josh Garnett

RT: Josh Jones/Tyrell Crosby

Defensive Line

Trey Flower Lions

DE: Bud Dupree/Romeo Okwara when Bud lines up as a stand-up EDGE

DT: Da’Shawn Hand

NT: Damon Harrison Sr.

DE: Trey Flowers

Linebacker Starters

Jarrad Davis Lions

OLB: Devon Kennard

ILB: Patrick Onwuasor/Jarrad Davis

OLB: Jarrad Davis/Jahlani Tavai

Secondary Starters

Darius Slay
Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

CB1: Darius Slay

CB2: Jeffrey Okudah

Slot CB: Justin Coleman

FS: Tracy Walker

SS: Kyle Dugger

Special Teamers

MAtt Prater
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

K: Matt Prater

P: Braden Mann

KOS: Matt Prater

LS: Blake Ferguson (UDFA)

KR: Jamal Agnew

PR: Jamal Agnew

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