When it comes to the Detroit Lions defense, there is no question about it that their linebackers’ unit absolutely must improve for the 2021 season. The Lions linebackers were so bad in 2020 that you would be hard-pressed to find a worse unit in the NFL.
You can bet your bottom dollar that Lions GM Brad Holmes and HC Dan Campbell will add a linebacker or two to the mix during the offseason, the only question is whether they will do so via free agency or the 2021 NFL Draft. My bet would be that they sign one free agent LB and add another via the draft.
When it comes to free agency, there are a couple of linebackers the Lions should absolutely have their eye on.
Milano, who will be 27 when the 2021 season kicks off, played in just 10 games for the Bills in 2020 because of multiple injuries. In 2019, he started 15 games for the Bills, racking up 101 tackles and nine passes defended. Milano is considered a solid coverage linebacker, which is something the Lions desperately need moving forward. According to reports, Milano will test the free-agent market when the new league year begins as he believes he can get more money from a team other than the Bills. The question is, will his money demands be too much for the Lions to handle?
Brown, who is about to turn 26, was originally selected by the Tennessee Titans in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Like Milano, Brown played in just 10 games in 2021 after being placed on IR with an injured elbow. Prior to getting hurt, he had 76 tackles and eight passes defended. Milano is better in pass coverage but Brown can hold his own and he has a knack for making tackles.
I would be thrilled if the Lions were able to land either Milano or Brown in free agency and then pair them up with a player from the upcoming draft.