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2011 NFL Offseason: Detroit Lions

Draft Grades, Season Previews, Offseason Needs, Free Agents



Detroit Lions (Last Year: 6-10) - Buy Tickets

2011 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
RB Jerome Harrison, RB Mike Bell, C Rudy Niswanger, DE Keyunta Dawson, OLB Justin Durant, ILB Stephen Tulloch, CB Eric Wright, S Erik Coleman, S Michael Johnson.
Early Draft Picks:
DT Nick Fairley, WR Titus Young, RB Mikel Leshoure, OLB Doug Hogue.
Offseason Losses:
WR Bryant Johnson, DE Turk McBride, OLB Julian Peterson, OLB Jordon Dizon.

2011 Detroit Lions Offense:
Poor Matthew Stafford. The football gods just won't let him play. After an injury-plagued rookie campaign, Stafford was knocked out in the opener against the Bears in which the Lions looked like they were going to prevail. Stafford tried to come back in November, but hurt his shoulder again and was sidelined for the rest of the season.

Stafford is healthy now, but not for long. His top three offensive tackles, Jeff Backus, Gosder Cherilus and Jason Fox, are all injured. Backus, who was responsible for that injury in the opener, has a torn chest muscle and is currently on the active/PUP list. Cherilus, who was mediocre in 2010, is coming off microfracture surgery on his knee. Fox has has some upside, but suffered a foot injury during training camp.

It's a good thing Detroit is better in the interior, though that could be by default. Rob Sims and Stephen Peterman are very good guards, but center Dominic Raiola should have been upgraded this offseason.

It really is a shame that Stafford hasn't been given much of a chance. He has a howitzer arm and is surrounded by a plethora of talent to post monstrous stats. Calvin Johnson packed on 10 pounds of muscle this offseason and has been enjoying the best training camp of his life. He could top 1,500 receiving yards if Stafford stays healthy.

Stafford will also look more often to Brandon Pettigrew, who had somewhat of a breakout sophomore campaign with Shaun Hill under center. Pettigrew notched 71 receptions for 722 yards and four touchdowns; the latter number expected to rise, of course, if Stafford can stay healthy.

The rest of the receiving corps is comprised of Nate Burleson (55 catches, 625 yards, 6 TDs in 2010) and second-round rookie Titus Young. Young has blazing speed as he demonstrated in the Senior Bowl, but he hasn't been able to practice at training camp because of a leg injury.

Detroit spent another second-round selection on running back Mikel Leshoure, who unfortunately tore his Achilles tendon at training camp. Leshoure was supposed to serve as a power-back complement to the electrifying but fragile Jahvid Best. Best demonstrated what he was capable of against Philadelphia in Week 2 (232 total yards, three touchdowns) before suffering through two turf toes for the rest of the season. Best is now healthy, though that's far from a lock to last very long.



2011 Detroit Lions Defense:
The Lions shocked the football world when they used the No. 13 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft on defensive tackle Nick Fairley. Projected to go No. 1 overall at some point by a few draft analysts, Fairley fell because of motivational and character concerns. There was also the fact that he was a one-year wonder at Auburn, though he dominated the line of scrimmage in that one season.

Fairley was a value choice and will form a powerful duo with Ndamukong Suh if he can stay healthy. Fairley has a stress fracture in his foot at the moment, but it's believed that he'll be able to play in the opener. If not, it'll be Corey Williams, a talented interior pass-rusher who defends the run almost as well. Either way, Suh will have a damn good partner in crime. Suh notched an eye-popping 10 sacks as a rookie. He was very good, but he struggled a bit against the run. That could change now that he has a year of experience under his belt, though the Bengals made it a point to run right at him in the preseason opener.

With Suh, Fairley and Williams collapsing the pocket, it'll open things up even more for ends Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril. Vanden Bosch had just four sacks in 11 games, but is the leader of the locker room. Avril, meanwhile collected 8.5 sacks from the blind side.

Detroit's back seven was its downfall last year, but that has changed, at least in part, because of two upgrades in the linebacking corps. The big signing was Stephen Tulloch, one of the more talented players at his position. Tulloch will be stationed in the middle next to weakside linebacker DeAndre Levy, who started 11 games as an NFL sophomore in 2010 and was very solid. The other free-agent addition was strongside linebacker Justin Durant, who specialized in run support for Jacksonville.

The secondary is still a concern, however. The Lions' 25th-ranked pass defense figures to improve because of a stronger front seven, but it's still an area of huge weakness.

It was rumored that Detroit would sign a top-flight cornerback like Johnathan Joseph, but all the team managed to acquire was Eric Wright. A former Brown, Wright was a pretty solid corner a couple of seasons ago, but has lost his confidence ever since. He's still an upgrade over Alphonso Smith and Nathan Vasher across from Chris Houston, who held his own despite the fact that he was utilized as a No. 1 corner.

The Lions will be better on the back end because free safety Louis Delmas is healthy again. Delmas played all of last year with a painful groin injury, but he's now 100 percent after offseason surgery. He'll start next to strong safety Amari Speivey, a converted corner who performed adequately in 2010 despite being a third-round rookie.



2011 Detroit Lions Schedule and Intangibles:
The Lions have one of the worst home-field advantages in the NFL, owning a horrendous 53-67 record since 1996. But that's nothing compared to their 22-98 road mark during that span. That's the league's worst visiting record the past 15 years. In fact, prior to a victory over the Buccaneers in Week 15, the Lions hadn't won a road game since Oct. 28, 2007.

In the five years prior to 2010, the Lions didn't have a single real special-teams touchdown (the only one was a fluke score by Casey Fitzsimmons off an onsides kick). Even worse, they had given up NINE returns. Well, the latter figure is now up to 11, but Detroit at least scored. This happened when stud return specialist Stefan Logan took a kickoff back to the house.

Jason Hanson just turned 41 in October. Despite this, he drilled 12-of-14 attempts in eight games last year, including 3-of-4 from 50-plus. Unfortunately, Hanson suffered a sprain MCL in 2010, so his body might take too long to recover.

Punter Nick Harris did a good job last season, maintaining a 44.6 average, although he did pin the opposition inside the 20-yard line just 24 times in 90 tries.

If the Lions can win in Tampa again, they could start 3-0 because they have the Chiefs (home) and Vikings (road) after that. Detroit's non-divisional schedule as a whole is pretty easy; other cupcake foes include Oakland, San Francisco, Denver and Carolina. Unfortunately, they have to deal with the Packers and Bears twice each.



2011 Detroit Lions Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):

Quarterbacks
Offensive Line
Secondary
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams
Receivers
Linebackers
Coaching


2011 Detroit Lions Analysis: Expectations are high in Detroit for the first time in a long while. And for good reason - the front office has assembled an enormous amount of talent.

Injuries are going to decide whether the Lions make the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Matthew Stafford, Jahvid Best, the starting tackles, Nick Fairley and even Jason Hanson all have major medical question marks. If they can all stay on the field, Detroit could be playing deep into January. And if not? Well, Lions fans know how that works.

Projection: 10-6 (Tied 2nd in NFC North)


2011 Fantasy Football Rankings


More 2011 NFL Season Previews

*** 2011 NFL DRAFT GRADES, OFFSEASON NEEDS BELOW COMMENT BOARD ***


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Reggie 07-07-2013 07:30 am xxx.xxx.xxx.227 (total posts: 2)
19     89

Lions this season should be exciting.
At QB we have a very talented QB entering his prime. At RB we now have some speed to complement the solid Bell/Leshoure power duo. At WR/TE we have the best in Calvin, a TE in Pettigrew who is in his contract season, and potential in Broyles....I am a little concerned at the depth at this position. The OL is unknown. No one can say how it will turn out which is scary. LG Rob Sims is very solid. Raiola should be a decent center and line leader for one more season. I think Reiff will be fine after a few games and I think the same for Warford at RG. RT Fox and Hilliard should suffice...I wouldn't mind Winston. Our DL will be scary good this season vs both the run and pass. LB are mediocre at best and the secondary and special teams will be drastically improved. I think 9-10 wins should be expected for this team.
Tyler 07-07-2013 03:29 am xxx.xxx.xxx6.96 (total posts: 1)
3     89

Blegh...... detroit will be in the hunt for the playoffs. The secondary is solid.... the d-line will be Domiant-solid.... linebackers meh...-iffy Offensivley the lions will be decent. Reggie bush is a HUGE upgrade in the RB spot. He really should help stafford out so he'll have a safety valve for once Reiff has longer arms than joe thomas and jake long so why call him dinosaur arms? The interior is solid.... The tackles..... Stafford really needs to stay in the pocket.... receiver wise it's a decent group. TE wise they can run a lot of 2 TE sets. and bush should really help stafford out.... there is enough talent here to win a playoff game. Stafford MUST throw 30+ TDs to make the playoffs. Megatron will help run the ball given he's triple covered a lot. the lions really should try and trade for a RT (oher for a 2nd round pick?,Saffold for a 3rd rounder?,Albert for a 3rd rounder?,sign winston?) The lions have a lot of options at RT.... and yet they don't do any of them.... i'd trade for saffold he can be a LT or RT (he's in his contract year but still a 3rd rounder or 2nd rounder plus a few picks is worth it to keep stafford healthy.) Detroit fans you better hope there's a trade.../signing...
Joe 07-06-2013 11:58 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.119 (total posts: 6)
3     28

Stafford won't make it out of preseason and Shaun Hill will join him on IR by week four with this shoddy OL. That leaves Kellen Moore to take the Lions to the promised land of another first overall pick and a 2-14 season!

And they'll be lucky to win those two games...
WyattBurp 07-05-2013 05:59 pm xxx.xxx.xxx4.80 (total posts: 14)
17     167

@Kevin. Last in the NFC North is a spot reserved for the Bears. I think the Vikes will be 8-8, but it's a toss-up between the Lions and Green Bay for the division. Only time will tell.
Kevin 07-04-2013 04:40 am xxx.xxx.xxx.134 (total posts: 2)
4     4

I hear what you are saying about the O-line but there really is a lot to be hopeful for. Raola is still a solid Center but even if his skills prove to be declined this season Gandy can play Center and actually Gandy could play anywhere along the line and Hilliard is very versatile too. Warford was a great pick in the draft Reiff has a year of experience under his belt at the NFL level now so I think he'll be solid as well. Waddle, Nagy and Scott can provide adequate depth should someone go down and the offensive coordinator can help this O-line out by playing out of the shotgun more too. So they have enough talent. Ideally I would like to see them add one more quality veteran maybe Brandon Moore or Eric Winston to the line but all in all I have a sneaky feeling that they will be OK. Of course the big question is how well will they play as a unit. We will see but with the improvements everywhere else on the roster from the running game to the defense to an improved special teams unit adding Mosley, Akers, Greenwood, Mulbach and Owens. Sure people are talking about the punter being an unknown at this time but I'm not too worried about that because adequate punters always seem to be available in free agency and hey aren't signed that quickly and who knows maybe the guy they drafted Martin may just turn out to be decent. One thing for sure that is a real positive is the fact that Detroit signed all of their draft choices quickly and there have been no off the field distractions this year. I'm feeling real good about this season for the Detroit Lions.
Kevin 07-04-2013 03:49 am xxx.xxx.xxx.134 (total posts: 2)
10     5

I know you graded the Lions with a B which is solid but take a closer look. While Bush has gotten all of the press and I'm sure has factored into the grade more than most, the Lions have quietly built a very good defensive secondary and strengthened an already strong D-line, The addition of Quin who is one of the best Safeties in the NFL and with resigning Delmas (who when healthy is a very good Safety too and I know he gets hurt but stay with me here) and Houston they also added quality veteran depth in Bartel and Hope (although older is a savey veteran and has been a pro-bowler and knows how to play the position) and Spivey who will be a quality backup and has started in the past but admittedly has had problems with concussions but also the reports on their rookie Darius Slay are glowing, they say this guy is real impressivean and Greenwood, Bentley and Green give them depth. At DE we know Ansah is a freakish athlete which sometimes translates to the NFL level but not always so I was real happy to see them pick up Israel Idonije who is a quality three down veteran DE and Jason Jones who is versatile (listed as a DE but can be used at other positions) and although not viewed as a three down player in the right situations he has proven to be very effective. We know that Young is a solid DE who has come into his own and Fairly and Suh are tough up the middle (two of the best) and the LB core is looking solid up the middle and on one side. The only question mark on this defense is one OLB position and the Lions have three young guys competing for that spot who all show promise so one of the Palmer, Lewis or Whitehead I believe will step up or perhaps they rotate them in or even drop Jason Jones in there, so they have options. Very quietly the Lions have made huge improvements on the defensive side of the ball and Lions fans can feel very very good about this team. I know that most people are picking them to be last in their division again this year but mark my words they are going to give Green Bay a run for their money this season you just watch.
bud lion 06-29-2013 05:34 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.176 (total posts: 1)
4     4

Tyler you are an idiot I don't even know why you're here if all you're gonna do is bash the team go some where else with all that negativity
oh and one more thing



Go lions
Lionsfan88 06-23-2013 07:56 pm xxx.xxx.xxx1.53 (total posts: 1)
15     6

@Tyler. Go back to 1st grade and learn how to spell
WyattBurp 06-17-2013 03:26 pm xxx.xxx.xxx4.80 (total posts: 14)
23     111

@Tyler. If you're a Lions fan, you wouldn't say these things. Menelick Austin got taken in the 2nd round. Would you give up Darius Slay for him? I wouldn't.

Stafford got hurt? So did Cutler, Manning, and so on. It's the NFL. Everyone gets hurt. Noone does it on purpose.

If Broyles catches for over 1,000 yards this season, would you still say it's a bad pick? I wouldn't.

Schwartz and Mayhew have done a great job. Lions will get to the playoff, this year. Don't worry, Tyler. Not unless your a fan of some other team. Then, I'd worry. I'd be very worried!
Ian 06-17-2013 02:15 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.155 (total posts: 1)
10     7

Tyler, you're an idiot. I'm all for differing opinions, but everything you said had me thinking "Is that fellow in need of medical attention?"
Tyler 06-17-2013 03:18 am xxx.xxx.xxx.253 (total posts: 1)
5     140

I wish we took the tackle teh raiders took... (menelik austin?)He's raw but if stafford goes down.... Poof goes the season Stafford is definitley an underachiever ast the 1ts overall pick.... (he did get us to the playoffs and help johnson set the receciving record, 5,000 yards passing blah blah) those are nice but he still got injured during his 1st two seasons.... Which had us picking 2nd (we shouldve taken okung..... ) 11th in 2011.... (wtf nick fairley? WHERE THE F*** IS A TACKLE?!?!?!?!?) 2012 (reiff YAY A TACKLE!!! 2nd round we shouldve taken cordy glenn,johnathan martin..... but no we got ryan broles.... Bleh)Martin mayhew and Jim schwartz need to go we need a new GM he's done a decent job but he's still f***ed it up. (2009 Nfl draft.... actually glad we passed on oher.... but alex mack? percy harvin.... the list goes on and on... oh and we took louis delmas who is a good but injury prone safety when we couldve had jairius byrd....) Alex mack,percy ahrvin,jairius byrd.... 3 pro bowlers instead we got a bust TE... (who was 24......and an iffy saftey) FIRE MAYHEW!!!!!!! And schwartz
Vikes Fan 06-10-2013 01:23 am xxx.xxx.xxx65.4 (total posts: 1)
7     7

I really really like the lions draft. If Ansah and Warford are both as good as they are supposed to be then the lions should be a really strong team this year. Especially if they have bush line up outside or in the slot a lot. That would be a strong combo for them.
WyattBurp 05-29-2013 08:02 pm xxx.xxx.xxx4.80 (total posts: 14)
34     63

@Clueless. First, kudoes on your parents naming you. They had foresight.

Second, Reiff plays left tackle. That clears up your mystery, right?

Third, the O-line will be fine. I'm not worried about them one bit. Why? Because Pepper and Allen are OLD, and if you stop Matthews, Green Bay has no pass rush.

Fourth, the corners are fine. I expect that to be a position of strength for the Lions. Only reason they might not be inexperience. Corners are always tricky, because their performance depends on what the defense is doing. I expect the defense to put Rodgers, Cutler, and Ponder on their butts most games.

See, Clueless, was that so difficult?

Lions will make the playoffs. Bears will finish last. That's my prediction, and I'm sticking to it!
LessCluelessthenWalter 05-28-2013 10:13 am xxx.xxx.xxx.114 (total posts: 1)
252     305

"However, as it stands now, Reiff, Corey Hilliard and Jason Fox are the only tackles on the roster. With Clay Matthews, Jared Allen and Julius Peppers in the division, there's a good chance Matthew Stafford doesn't make it through the 2013 season.

Cornerback was also a need, though not as great of a need as people think. Having said that, what Detroit plans on doing at left tackle is beyond me. Matthew Stafford probably won't make it through the 2013 season."

They have been grooming Reiff, Fox and Hilliard for years to take the reins when Sackus and Cheerless leaves. You have no basis to state they can't do the job.

But yet...

The CBs that you state aren't in need of an upgrade showed they CAN'T do the job last year. They were often burnt; gave up chunks of yards, 1st downs and TDs. Or they were so out of position they could do nothing but Interfere.

It's a safe place to hide within the mass media and spouse the same unknowing drivel, but don't expect people to pick your site for insight when you haven't truly did your research.

Here's a bet: The OLine will be dramatically better and MS will have his best year. Along with the rushing game being dramatically better.

VS. - what you said.

I love the Lions flying under the radar.

Brandon Perburn, ILB, Florida A&M
Tyler` 05-17-2013 03:40 am xxx.xxx.xxx.238 (total posts: 1)
7     11

Stafford will be fine.... -ish I wish wed drafted menelik austin in the 2nd round so hed be our RT warford our RG and reiff our LT.... our line would be inexpierenced.... but hey it look like a decent line....





2011 NFL Draft Grades:

I think I'm the only person in America who didn't like Detroit's draft.

Look, I understand the allure of drafting Nick Fairley No. 13. He was supposedly the top player available, and was once a candidate to go No. 1 overall. But there's a reason why he slipped - he's a 1-year wonder and has work ethic issues. I'm VERY concerned that he's going to use most of his signing bonus to buy doughnuts, Cheetos and Oreos, and eventually balloon up to 350 pounds. JUCO transfers have an extremely high bust rate in the NFL. Fairley is not someone I would have drafted in the top 20. Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe he'll be a perennial Pro Bowler, but I have my concerns.

The Lions had only five selections. I loved two of them. However, Detroit did not address the cornerback or left tackle positions, so Martin Mayhew will have to go after Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency. I don't know how he'll improve Matthew Stafford's protection.

Overall 2011 NFL Draft Grade given on 5/1/11: C+



2011 NFL Draft Individual Grades:

13. Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
All Matt Millen did was pick receivers. Now, all the Lions do is acquire high-priced defensive tackles.

I don't like this pick much. Fairley is a one-year wonder with work ethic issues. I don't like the idea of paying him a ton of money in a rookie signing bonus. Plus, passing up Prince Amukamara and Jimmy Smith is pretty questionable. (Pick Grade: C)

44. Titus Young, WR, Boise State
Titus Young is exactly what the Lions need on offense, outside of a left tackle. He's eventually going to draw some attention away from Calvin Johnson. In the meantime, he'll contribute right away on punt returns. I really like this pick. (Pick Grade: A)

57. Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois
Even though the Lions had to trade up to this spot, I love this pick. How did Mikel Leshoure fall this far? Leshoure provides great value at No. 57 and will fill a need as a big back complement for Jahvid Best. (Pick Grade: A)

157. Doug Hogue, OLB, Syracuse
I thought the Lions would address the linebacker position earlier than this. Doug Hogue fills a major need, but I feel like there were better linebackers available. (Pick Grade: C)

209. Johnny Culbreath, OT, South Carolina State
A developmental tackle. Jeff Backus is entering his contract year, so the Lions will finally be forced to find a new left tackle next year. (Pick Grade: B)





Season Summary:
The Lions played most of the 2010 season without starting quarterback Matthew Stafford. Yet, they were able to finish 6-10, with seven of their 10 defeats decided by one score. If Stafford can stay healthy, Detroit will make a run at the playoffs next year.




Offseason Moves:
  • Lions sign S Michael Johnson
  • Lions sign C Rudy Niswanger
  • Lions sign RB Jerome Harrison
  • Lions sign RB Mike Bell
  • Lions sign DE Keyunta Dawson
  • Lions re-sign OLB Bobby Carpenter
  • Lions sign WR Maurice Stovall
  • Saints sign DE Turk McBride
  • Lions sign ILB Stephen Tulloch
  • Lions re-sign CB Chris Houston
  • Lions re-sign C Dylan Gandy
  • Lions sign CB Eric Wright
  • Lions cut OLB Jordon Dizon
  • Lions sign WR Rashied Davis
  • Lions sign OLB Justin Durant
  • Lions re-sign QB Drew Stanton
  • Lions cut WR Bryant Johnson
  • Lions tender FB Jerome Felton
  • Lions tender DT Andre Fluellen
  • Lions cut OLB Julian Peterson
  • Lions re-sign DE Cliff Avril
  • Lions sign SS Erik Coleman
  • Lions cut CB Eric King


    Offseason Needs:
    1. Two Outside Linebackers: Detroit has informed Julian Peterson that he will be released because of his $8 million salary. His mediocre play might also be a reason. Meanwhile, Zack Follett is coming off a devastating injury and may not be ready to play for a while. The Lions will consider Akeem Ayers with the No. 13 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Signed Stephen Tulloch and Justin Durant; drafted Doug Hogue

    2. Cornerback: Make this two corners if the Lions don't re-sign Chris Houston. Prince Amukamara will be the choice if he somehow falls to the 13th pick. Detroit will probably have to address this position in the second round. Re-signed Chris Houston; signed Eric Wright

    3. Left Tackle/Right Tackle: Jeff Backus didn't have a bad year overall, but he was responsible for Julius Peppers knocking out Matthew Stafford in the season opener. Backus would be better served at right tackle. Unfortunately, this tackle class is awful, so the Lions will have to wait until Day 2 of the 2011 NFL Draft to address this problem. Drafted Johnny Culbreath

    4. Center: The Lions have some major holes up front - including the center position, occupied by Dominic Raiola. By the way, I'm not listing the guard position as one of the needs; Stephen Peterman sucked last year because he played with a foot injury. He'll be better in 2011. Signed Rudy Niswanger

    5. Strong Safety: C.C. Brown started eight games for the Lions in 2010. Converted corner Amari Spievey was the other option, but he's probably better suited playing nickel. A Day 2 pick might be spent on an upgrade. Signed Erik Coleman

    6. Power Running Back: Detroit will be looking for a runner to help in goal-line situations. Mikel Leshoure is out for the year with a torn Achilles. Drafted Mikel Leshoure

    7. Wide Receiver: Can you imagine how potent Detroit's offense would be if it found a reliable No. 2 wideout across from Calvin Johnson? Drafted Titus Young; signed Rashied Davis








    2011 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Stephen Tulloch, ILB, Titans. Age: 26.
      Signed with Lions (1 year, $3.25 million)

      Stephen Tulloch is a stud. At only 26 years old, he's one of the top 4-3 middle linebackers in the NFL. He's going to receive a huge contract this offseason.

    2. Eric Wright, CB, Browns. Age: 26.
      Signed with Lions

      Eric Wright is physically talented, but has regressed each season in the NFL. He's still young though, so maybe he can turn his career around elsewhere.

    3. Justin Durant, OLB, Jaguars. Age: 25.
      Signed with Lions (2 years)

      Justin Durant is a quality weakside linebacker, but is frequently injured.

    4. Jerome Harrison, RB, Eagles. Age: 28.
      Signed with Lions

      Remember that torrid stretch Jerome Harrison enjoyed at the end of the 2009 season? It's amazing that he started only three games this year. Harrison is a very effective second running back.

    5. Erik Coleman, SS, Falcons. Age: 29. -- Signed with Lions (1 year)
    6. Keyunta Dawson, DE, Colts. Age: 25. -- Signed with Lions
    7. Rashied Davis, WR, Bears. Age: 32. -- Signed with Lions (1 year)
    8. Rudy Niswanger, C, Chiefs. Age: 28. -- Signed with Lions
    9. Michael Johnson, S, Giants. Age: 27. -- Signed with Lions
    10. Mike Bell, RB, Browns. Age: 28. -- Signed with Lions
    11. Maurice Stovall, WR, Buccaneers. Age: 26. -- Signed with Lions



    Detroit Lions Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: No cap.
    1. Cliff Avril (RFA), DE, Lions. Age: 25.
      Re-signed with Lions (1 year, $2.6 million)

      Cliff Avril is a tremendous pass-rusher - 8.5 sacks in 13 games - but he's a liability against the run.

    2. Chris Houston, CB, Lions. Age: 26.
      Re-signed with Lions

      Chris Houston can't be a No. 1 corner. The Lions might be able to get away with him being a starter across from someone more talented, however.

    3. Kevin Smith, RB, Lions. Age: 24.
      Kevin Smith has some talent, but can't seem to stay healthy. The Central Florida coaching staff ruined his NFL career by giving him 450 carries in his senior year.

    4. Turk McBride, DE, Lions. Age: 26.
      Signed with Saints

      A decent rotational lineman for the Lions, Turk McBride recorded five sacks in 2010.

    5. Julian Peterson, OLB, Lions. Age: 33.
    6. Landon Johnson, OLB, Lions. Age: 30.
    7. Drew Stanton, QB, Lions. Age: 27. -- Re-signed with Lions (1 year)
    8. Jordon Dizon, OLB, Lions. Age: 25.
    9. Ashlee Palmer, OLB, Lions. Age: 25.
    10. Bobby Carpenter, OLB, Lions. Age: 28. -- Re-signed with Lions
    11. Zack Follett (ERFA), OLB, Lions. Age: 24. -- Tendered by Lions
    12. C.C. Brown, S, Lions. Age: 28.
    13. Corey Hilliard, OT, Lions. Age: 26.
    14. Bryant Johnson, WR, Lions. Age: 30.
    15. Maurice Leggett, CB, Lions. Age: 24.
    16. Tye Hill, CB, Lions. Age: 29.
    17. Andre Fluellen (RFA), DT, Lions. Age: 26. -- Tendered by Lions
    18. Brandon McDonald, CB, Lions. Age: 26.
    19. Jerome Felton (RFA), FB, Lions. Age: 25. -- Tendered by Lions
    20. Vinny Ciurciu, ILB, Lions. Age: 31.
    21. Caleb Campbell (ERFA), OLB, Lions. Age: 26.
    22. Dylan Gandy, C, Lions. Age: 29. -- Re-signed with Lions (2 years)
    23. Jared DeVries, DE, Lions. Age: 35.
    24. Eric King, CB, Lions. Age: 29.
    25. Brian Clark, WR, Lions. Age: 27.
    26. Copeland Bryan, DE, Lions. Age: 28.
    27. Zack Follett, OLB, Lions. Age: 24.


    2011 NFL Free Agent Rankings

    2011 NFL Free Agent Rankings Coming Soon



    Divisional Rival History:
    Chicago Bears: Take out a bizarre 2007 season where the Lions somehow swept the Bears, and Chicago has won 10 straight in this rivalry.
    Green Bay Packers: The Packers have won 18 of the last 21 meetings. Detroit beat Green Bay at home in 2010, but Aaron Rodgers missed half the game.
    Minnesota Vikings: Pure domination. The Vikings have somehow won 21 of the past 24 meetings.



    Features to be Posted This Offseason:
    1. 2011 NFL Draft Grades (Pick-by-Pick NFL Draft Grades as well - Live on Draft Day!)
    2. Detailed season preview
    3. Fantasy football projections
    4. Positional rankings
    5. Daily updates on free-agent signings


    More 2011 NFL Offseason Pages:

    DAL / NYG / PHI / WAS /
    CHI / DET / GB / MIN /
    ATL / CAR / NO / TB /
    ARZ / SEA / SF / STL /
    BUF / MIA / NE / NYJ /
    BAL / CIN / CLE / PIT /
    HOU / IND / JAX / TEN /
    DEN / KC / OAK / SD /




    2011 NFL Offseason Pages


    Fantasy Football Rankings - July 28


    2016 NFL Mock Draft - July 24


    2015 NFL Mock Draft - July 23


    2015 NBA Mock Draft - July 1


    NFL Free Agents


    NFL Picks - Feb. 2



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