Detroit Lions: Analyzing the Defensive Depth Chart

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Oct 12, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Baltimore Ravens nose tackle Haloti Ngata (92) rushes as Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard

Logan Mankins

(70) blocks during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Line: 

Obviously the loss of Suh is a huge hole to fill, but the replacement of Ngata isn’t a bad replacement. Despite the facts that he’s aging, Ngata in four less games then Suh had similar scores to Suh.

WPA – Win Probability added is a great stat to see the impact a specific player has on it’s team.

Suh was so good last season he was demanding double teams more than any other defensive tackle. However, Haloti Ngata was #3  and when we dive back into the numbers analytically, the two players aren’t far apart.

Win Probability Added: 

Suh: 1.27

Ngata: 1.51

Positive Expected Points Per Game:

Suh: 2.51

Ngata: 3.52

Tackle Factor: 

Suh: 0.94

Ngata: 0.70

 Ngata is better in two of the three categories mentioned, and it should be mentioned that Ngata missed four games last year due to suspension and Suh didn’t miss any.

The Lions made a good move in getting Walker who has the chance to be a very good player for Detroit as the Saints weren’t too happy losing him. In Detroit he’ll have more of an opportunity to shine.

The player that I think could surprise people is DT Caraun Reid, Reid was under evulated in last years draft he boasts physical strengths that could bode well for Detroit.

Jim Caldwell spoke on Caraun Reid On DT Caraun Reid’s biggest growth in his game:

"“Well, you know, from a physical standpoint he’s just in superb shape. I think he committed himself to changing his habits in terms of eating. That’s not to say that his eating habits were terrible before, but I think once these guys get in this league they understand what they have to do in order to be able to compete consistently. That’s part of it. You’ve got to eat right, your strength levels have to go up, you have to reduce the amount of body fat. I need to do a little of that, but nevertheless he’s a smart guy and he’s done well. He looks quicker, he’s running to the ball, he’s in great shape, so we’ll see if that translates.”"

The Verdict: 

Detroit lost some key pieces and they did a small step back. But it’s not all bad news as they have some good players on the defensive line that could have their best years. One being Ziggy Ansah.

The loss of Suh is big, but when you get a guy like Ngata it eases the burden of loss because of the leadership he brings to the team as well as his physical skills.

I don’t see a big drop off from last year, although I think we will see a minor drop off. When I look at the defensive line I see a couple players who have potential to give Detroit a deep defensive tackle unit.

Next: Linebacker