6 Free Agents the Lions Could Acquire Preceding Training Camp

The Detroit Lions have concluded their offseason workouts, leaving their calendar clear until late-July when training camp commences.

Over the next few weeks, Lions’ general manager Brad Holmes is expected to meticulously examine the available free agent market in pursuit of a valuable addition to an already formidable roster.

Coach Dan Campbell stressed that any potential searches during the upcoming weeks would primarily focus on enhancing depth.

Outlined below are six free agents whom the Lions may consider targeting prior to the commencement of training camp.

WR Keith Kirkwood

As the Lions assess their current depth at wide receiver, they are considering potential contributors, including former New Orleans and Carolina wide receiver Keith Kirkwood.

Throughout his six-year NFL career, Kirkwood has encountered challenges establishing a consistent role. He has had opportunities with the Saints on two occasions, interspersed with a two-year tenure at the Panthers. Across his career, Kirkwood has accumulated 24 receptions for 294 yards and three touchdowns.

Kirkwood’s initial stint in New Orleans spanned from 2019 to 2020, coinciding with Coach Campbell’s time there. Standing at 6-foot-3, he brings size that is currently lacking in the Lions’ roster. The seasoned veteran could provide robust competition for the younger players situated lower on Detroit’s depth chart.

DE Myjai Sanders

Sanders’ career has encountered a rocky start, having played for two different teams since being drafted in the third round of the 2022 Draft. Currently a free agent, the Cincinnati alum has struggled to meet expectations early in his career.

As Detroit looks to bolster its depth, Sanders represents a potential low-cost option with the ability to inject competitiveness into the position group. Aidan Hutchinson stands out as the clear top choice on the edge, though concerns linger regarding depth and injury vulnerabilities.

This situation presents Sanders with an opportunity to rejuvenate his career, offering the Lions a prospect once heralded for his considerable potential.

TE Trevon Wesco

During minicamp, Campbell highlighted the team’s quest for solutions at the fullback position. Currently, there isn’t a designated fullback on the roster following Jason Cabinda’s departure, who had held the role for several years.

Trevon Wesco offers experience at the position from his tenure with the Tennessee Titans. Primarily a tight end, the 28-year-old has made significant contributions in the run game as a blocker throughout his five-year NFL career. Last season, he garnered a run-blocking grade of 56.3 according to Pro Football Focus.

Having appeared in 69 games to date, Wesco has caught nine passes for 134 yards. While Detroit may opt to proceed with existing choices, Wesco presents a distinctive skill set that could add value to the team.

DT Nick Williams

Detroit made a significant addition to their defensive line with the acquisition of DJ Reader, a prominent free agent nose tackle. Should the team seek additional seasoned depth on the interior, a player like Williams could be a suitable candidate.

Williams has demonstrated versatility within various defensive schemes throughout his career and is familiar with Detroit following his tenure with the team from 2020 to 2021, coinciding with the beginning of the Campbell era.

In Aaron Glenn’s defensive strategy, another veteran, Tyson Alualu, assumed a critical role late in the season due to injuries. Consequently, having veteran depth could prove crucial as the season progresses.

S John Johnson III

Johnson’s career trajectory has experienced a slowdown following a promising start. He recorded eight interceptions in his first four NFL seasons and secured a lucrative contract with Cleveland. However, he returned to Los Angeles in 2023 after being released last February.

Brad Holmes was part of the Rams’ organization when Johnson was drafted. Given his expertise in secondary positions, the Lions’ general manager may recognize the potential value in bringing the veteran to Detroit.

The Lions’ safety depth presents an intriguing situation, with the possibility of Brian Branch transitioning from nickelback to safety. The backup options, however, remain somewhat uncertain, making additional competition advantageous for the team’s defensive backfield.

DT Ross Blacklock

If the Lions opt for youthful depth, Blacklock would be a suitable candidate. Drafted in 2020, he has struggled to carve out a consistent role despite opportunities with four different NFL teams.

His most recent stint was with the Titans, where he collaborated closely with the new Lions’ defensive line coach, Terrell Williams. Although he only appeared in three games for Tennessee, he earned a promotion from the practice squad to the active roster late in the season.

Given Williams’ developmental approach, he may see potential in integrating Blacklock, familiar with his coaching style, into the team’s plans.

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