Pro Football Focus hones in on Detroit Lions biggest need with free agent target

The Detroit Lions have an enormous need on the defensive aspect of the ball, and Pro Football Focus’ really useful free agent target is alongside that line.

The Detroit Lions notably performed higher defensively late in the 2022 season, not coincidentally in line with the crew profitable eight of its final 10 video games. That enchancment was rooted in being opportunistic, (largely) stifling opposing run video games and getting after the passer higher.

But identify a cross protection metric, and the Lions had been in all probability at or close to the underside of the league in it this season.

Passing yards allowed per recreation: thirtieth
Yards per cross try allowed: thirty first
Adjusted yards per cross try allowed: thirty first
Yards per completion allowed: thirty second
Passer score allowed: twenty fifth
Interceptions: twentieth (12; three by cornerbacks)
Passes defended: twenty fifth
Completion proportion: thirteenth

After a breakout marketing campaign in 2021, cornerback Amani Oruwariye fell off a cliff this previous season. Jerry Jacobs was high quality after he got here again from his torn ACL from December of 2021. Will Harris was a legal responsibility as a slot nook. After a promising begin and exhibiting his mettle as a run defender, Jeff Okudah’s play dropped off late in the season.

To sum all of it up, it is attainable not one of the Lions beginning cornerbacks come Week 1 subsequent season are on the roster proper now. Oruwariye, Harris and Mike Hughes are free brokers, and significantly Oruwariye and Harris must be pretty much as good as gone. Okudah could also be allowed to play out his rookie contract with out having his fifth yr possibility for 2024 picked up. Jacobs may even be round, however his position heading into subsequent season is up in the air.

Pro Football Focus has Detroit Lions addressing biggest need with really useful free agent target

Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus has come out with a listing providing one defensive free agent every NFL crew ought to target. The positional suggestion for the Lions is clear.

Detroit Lions: CB Cameron Sutton

In the secondary, the Lions had been nearly devoid of expertise, going as far as to maneuver security Will Harris to cornerback. They need so as to add reinforcements to the secondary, and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn was a defensive backs coach in New Orleans earlier than becoming a member of Dan Campbell in Detroit.

Sutton earned a career-best 72.2 grade as a full-time starter in 2022, permitting simply 0.76 yards per protection snap, good for eleventh amongst cornerbacks with no less than 200 protection snaps on the season. He gives inside/exterior versatility as nicely, though he is been a starter on the skin the final two seasons.

Sutton was a third-round decide of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017. After beginning seven video games over his first 4 seasons, he began 31 video games for them during the last two seasons. This previous season he made an actual leap, with a 47.9 completion proportion allowed and a 65.3 passer score allowed to go with the aforementioned PFF numbers.

In 16 video games in the course of the 2022 season, Sutton had 43 tackles (35 solo) with three interceptions and 15 cross breakups (tied for sixth in the league).

Sutton just isn’t the biggest nook (5-foot-11, 188 kilos). But as famous with his stats above from this season, he greater than held up as a beginning exterior nook in an excellent Steelers’ protection.

Spotrac has Sutton’s market worth at $7.6 million per yr, on a projected three-year deal. That must be nicely inside the Lions’ free company funds this offseason, and GM Brad Holmes ought to have him on the listing of cornerback free agent targets if he wasn’t there already.

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