Heading into the offseason, the thought was that the Detroit Lions would do something to improve their situation at linebacker but other than selecting Malcolm Rodriguez out of Oklahoma State in the sixth round, they really did not address what was a pretty big problem in 2021.
Now, before going on, let me say that I absolutely LOVED the Rodriguez pick and I do believe he will have a long NFL career (hopefully, with the Lions).
That being said, I don't expect Rodriguez to be a difference-maker during his rookie season and the Lions would be wise to consider adding a veteran free agent to help the cause.
Two free-agent linebackers the Detroit Lions should consider…if the price is right
As it stands, the Lions will almost certainly be rolling with Alex Anzalone and Derrick Barnes as their starting linebackers.
Anzalone, according to Pro Football Focus, was one of the worst linebackers in football in 2021 and Barnes struggled during his rookie campaign.
Here are two free-agent linebackers who could help the cause in 2022.
Uh oh! It's a former New England Patriots player!
Yes, Hightower is a former Patriot and he could end up re-signing with them before the 2022 season, but he is a veteran who could help out the Lions when it comes to stopping the run and rushing the passer.
Though he was awful in pass coverage, Hightower produced the fifth-most QB pressures among all off-ball linebackers in 2021 and he is still able to help out against the run.
No, Hightower is not a rangy linebacker but he knows how to win and he would help the cause if the price is right.
If the Lions want to go with a linebacker who is better in coverage, they may want to look at Kwon Alexander.
Unlike Hightower, Alexander is a linebacker who would provide versatility and speed, not to mention, that he is solid in pass coverage.
The downside for Alexander is that he is 36 years old but he could be a nice bridge if the Lions are able to get him in on a 1-year, cap-friendly deal.
Nation, would you like to see the Detroit Lions add a veteran linebacker prior to the start of the 2022 season?
I would say that any team that holds the Pittsburg Steelers to 16 points is a pretty good defense and then to hold a 10 win team like the Arizona Cardinals to less than 20 points is also a very good defense.
The defense and the linebackers got better as the season progressed. With the new 4 – 3 defense that is more geared to attacking the opposing offense on every play – the actual need for play makers in the linebacking corp is minimal at best.
You got Kwon Alexander’s age wrong he’s only 27.
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