Heading into the offseason, most believed the Detroit Lions would make some moves to improve their situation at linebacker but other than adding Malcolm Rodriguez (he could be a nice sleeper pick) with the No. 188 overall pick, they really failed to address the position.
In 2021, the Lions had what was arguably the worst linebacker corp in the entire NFL and it likely will not be much better in 2022 unless Rodriguez emerges as a contributor and second-year LB Derrick Barnes takes a big step forward.
In an article published on The 33rd Team, the Lions linebacker situation is listed as a reason why the team should be pessimistic heading into the 2022 season.
From The 33rd Team:
The Lions have attempted to rebuild their defense under second-year head coach Dan Campbell, but it is still far from perfect, particularly in the linebacker group. Last season, the Lions gave up 135.1 rushing yards per game, which was the 5th-most in the league. Part of this huge issue stemmed from the linebacker group, and it appears that Detroit still hasn’t found clear solutions in this area. Detroit re-signed veteran Alex Anzalone and drafted Oklahoma State standout Malcolm Rodriguez, but these two players are certainly far from being some of the better linebackers in the NFC North. Moreover, Detroit is also depending on second-year LB Derrick Barnes to shoulder some of the load, yet it has not been determined if he will be a mainstay in this group of players.
It is curious that Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes choose to pretty much ignore the weakness the team has at linebacker and it makes one wonder what his rationale is.
Maybe Holmes and Lions head coach Dan Campbell believes that some of the younger guys will step up in 2022 and that will be enough to make the unit formidable.
Nation, what do you make of the Lions linebacker unit heading into the upcoming season?