Young, Buy-Low Players Looking To Continue Their Growth Under, Defensive Minded, Head Coach Matt Patricia in 2019.
My series covering every NFL team continues with this article taking a look at the Detroit Lions. I will be identifying buy-low players that I would consider adding ahead of the 2019 season. Also included will be my recommendations on what it might take to acquire these players.
A’Shawn Robinson, Defensive Tackle:
A’Shawn Robinson, 24, could have had a very productive season, if not cut short due to injury, in 2018. He put up 34 solo tackles, three tackles for loss, four quarterback hits, and one sack. That was across 13 games played with seven starts. Those numbers were consistent with his 2017 production, when he started all 16 games for the Detroit Lions. With the addition of ex-New England Patriot, Trey Flowers, and a full season of Damon Harrison, I think Robinson will quietly have a nice 2019 season. He makes a great buy low for me going into next season.
With Robinson ending 2018 on IR there is a chance he could be on your waiver wire. If not, he shouldn’t cost more then a late round pick. He could be a nice under the radar starter or a great depth piece for next season.
Honorable Mention: Romeo Okwara, Linebacker, I am expecting him to get switched to defensive end for 2019.
Devon Kennard, Outside Linebacker:
Devon Kennard, 27, started and played in 15 of 16 games for the Lions defense in 2018, after spending the previous four season in the New York Giants organization. He rewarded the Lions with his best season of his career. Kennard, had 30 solo tackles, nine tackles for loss, 14 quarterback hits, and seven sacks, last season. I’m expecting him to be a 16 games starter in 2019 and to build on his success in the motor city.
Given Devon’s strong season in 2018, he should be owned in most leagues. He’s someone who I’d give up a mid round pick for, at most, due to the players the Lions have added on defense.
Honorable Mention: Christian Jones, Outside Linebacker.
Rashaan Melvin, Cornerback:
Rashaan Melvin, 29, signed a one-year 3.5 million dollar deal with the Detroit Lions earlier this month. He spent last season with the Oakland Raiders, where he started seven games and played in seven more. Melvin ended the season with 52 solo tackles, and one tackle for loss. I think he fits in much better with this Lions defense than he did with Oakland. I expect him to start opposite Darius Slay and with how much the NFC North throws the ball, he makes a great buy-low for 2019.
There is a good chance Melvin is on your wavier wire. If not, he shouldn’t cost you more than a late round pick and someone I am targeting for depth or a sneaky weekly starter for next season.
Honorable Mention: Miles Killebrew, Free Safety.
The Detroit Lions finished 2018 ranked 10th in yards per game. If they want to improve on that, they will need contributions from the players mentioned above, among others. So, with Matt Patricia potentially on the hot seat, after year one, I expect him to improve his defense even more next season. Ranking these buy-lows in order of priority, it would be Devon Kennard, Rashaan Melvin, and A’Shawn Robinson. Hopefully you find these recommendations helpful in your quest to build that championship roster for 2019. Please keep an eye out for the Green Bay Packers.
Follow me on Twitter @MorganMcLane and follow the show @IDPGuys Defense does win Championships!