June 13, 2024

Dan Campbell: I feel wind underneath my freakin' wings – The Oakland Press

Detroit Lions Land sensational star Defender In 5-Year NFL Re-Draft after agreeing on a 5-year deal from Eagles

In an imaginative exercise by Bleacher Report, NFL franchises revisited their draft choices from the past five years, reselecting players based on their performance and potential impact. The Detroit Lions, who faced the departure of Penei Sewell, Aidan Hutchinson, and Amon-Ra St. Brown in the re-draft, secured one of the most promising defensive talents in the league, Will Anderson Jr.

With the hypothetical re-draft encompassing selections from 2020 to 2024, teams were given the opportunity to either correct past mistakes or double down on successful picks. The Lions, finding themselves at the 19th pick, faced a critical decision after losing two cornerstone players, Penei Sewell and Aidan Hutchinson. Their options were open, but the need for a high-impact defender was palpable.

Texans rookie Will Anderson Jr. on position change: 'I'm super excited'

Choosing Will Anderson Jr., who was the third overall pick in 2023 and crowned Defensive Rookie of the Year, was almost a no-brainer for the Lions. Anderson’s rookie stats were nothing short of impressive, with 22 quarterback hits, 10 tackles for loss, and seven sacks. His potential for growth is seen as monumental, with expectations that his sack numbers will surge into double digits in his upcoming sophomore year.

The loss of Hutchinson created a void in Detroit’s defensive front, making Anderson not just a suitable replacement but a potential upgrade. The decision to pick him over available top offensive tackles—Tristan Wirfs, Christian Darrisaw, Rashawn Slater, and Joe Alt—underscores the Lions’ strategic priority to bolster their defense. Anderson’s physical prowess and rookie-year performance suggest he can quickly become a leading force for the Lions, especially crucial as they aim to build a formidable defensive unit.

Comparison with Other Top Pass-Rushers

Amon-Ra St. Brown believes that the Lions have yet to play their best  football

In the re-draft context, Anderson was compared with other elite pass-rushers like Micah Parsons and the now-former Lion, Aidan Hutchinson. This trio distinctly outperformed the next tier of edge defenders, justifying Anderson’s selection as a critical asset for Detroit’s defense. His ability to pressure quarterbacks and disrupt offensive lines is expected to compensate for any immediate shortcomings in the offensive tackle position.

Will Anderson Jr.’s acquisition in the re-draft represents a strategic move by the Detroit Lions to solidify their defense with a young, high-impact player whose best days are likely ahead of him. This selection not only addresses immediate needs caused by recent departures but also sets the team up for future success with a foundational piece on defense. As the Lions continue to shape their roster, the presence of a talent like Anderson could be pivotal in their pursuit of competitiveness and eventual playoff success.


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