Pre-Draft Team Needs: Detroit Lions

Kyle Vanden Bosch (AP)

Detroit was fairly aggressive at the start of free agency. However, they still have needs that remain mostly on defense.

Players Added

Shaun Hill/QB - He was acquired in a trade from the San Francisco 49ers. Hill figures to back up second-year QB Matthew Stafford.

Daunte Culpepper/QB - His No. 2 role is replaced by Shaun Hill.

DeDe Dorsey/RB - The speedy back could be an underrated signing if he winds up making the team.

Nate Burleson/WR - The veteran receiver figures to start opposite Calvin Johnson. Burleson can also help the team on kickoff returns.

Brian Clark/WR - He fits in as a fourth or fifth receiver.

Rob Sims/G - Sims was acquired in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks. He figures to challenge Manny Ramirez for a starting job.

Corey Williams/DT - He was acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Browns. Williams played out of position at end with the Browns, but should move back inside with the Lions, where he played with the Green Bay Packers.

Kyle Vanden Bosch/DE - The veteran defensive end was recruited by head coach Jim Schwartz for his work ethic among other facets of his game. Vanden Bosch isn't a great pass rusher, but he can be a disruptive force against opposing offenses.

Landon Johnson/LB - He'll give the Lions solid experience at weak-side linebacker. Johnson could push Ernie Sims for the starting job.

Chris Houston/CB - He was acquired in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons. Houston looks to be the only cornerback that could be penciled in as a starter at this point.

Dante Wesley/CB - The veteran defensive back fits in mostly on special teams.

Jonathan Wade/CB - He has six starts in three seasons with the St. Louis Rams. Still, Wade figures to be a backup.


Players Lost

Patrick Ramsey/QB - Ramsey signed with the Lions late last season. He worked out for the New Orleans Saints this week.

Casey Fitzsimmons/TE - Detroit is pretty deep at tight end, so Fitzsimmons may be playing elsewhere this season.

Damion Cook/OT - The Journeyman offensive lineman didn't play last season.

Grady Jackson/DT - The mammoth interior defensive lineman should be able to find a job by the time training camps start.

Dewayne White/DE - The veteran pass rusher suffered through various injuries over the past few seasons. That was probably the reason why he was released.

Robert Henderson/DE - He was included in a recent trade with the Seattle Seahawks, but Henderson hasn't played a down since he was drafted two years ago.

Larry Foote/LB - The team is high on his replacement, second-year LB DeAndre Levy.

Cody Spencer/LB - The special teamer didn't play last season due to injury.

Phllip Buchanon/CB - He'll challenge for a starting job with the Washington Redskins.

Anthony Henry/CB - At this point in his career, Henry may have to play free safety.

Will James/CB - The journeyman defensive back is looking at a nickel job probably with another team.


Pre-Draft Team Needs

Cornerback - They have a bunch of backup types on their 80-man roster, but only one of starter quality in Chris Houston.

Defensive End - The team really has no top-end pass rushers. Vanden Bosch only has 7.5 sacks over the past two seasons.

Defensive Tackle - Detroit has some young players who will contribute, but they lack a disruptive force on their interior of their defensive line.

Left Tackle - Starter Jeff Backus is signed through 2011. There seems to be a sense by personnel evaluators that the veteran offensive lineman will be playing his last year in a Lion uniform.


Other Issues to Address

Defensive Tackle

Strong-Side Linebacker

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