Free Agency Prediction
All three current Lions free agents will not return to Detroit. I expect Bush to land with another team with a chance to challenge for a starting role, something he won’t be offered in Detroit. Butler and Jackson could return at vet minimum deals, but they would be camp competition with no guarantee of a roster spot.
I don’t expect the Lions to make a big splash in the defensive back free agency pool, mostly because I think it will price itself out of Bob Quinn’s range. I do expect them to add more of a back-end player who will compete for one of the final spots in the secondary. Either Leon Hall or DJ Hayden make sense to me.
The Lions will draft a cornerback who will challenge to start in 2017 and a future starting safety. A player like Gareon Conley would be ideal at 53 and I would also be on board with them trading up to acquire him if necessary. He would likely be a starter by the half way point of the season if not sooner.
Lorenzo Jerome is ball hawk and has the potential to grow into a starting free safety role in the future. If he is able to do this within his rookie contract (four seasons), it would be solid timing for the Lions to make decisions on Glover Quin. Added bonus, Jerome is a legit NFL kick returner right now and would make an immediate impact on special teams. Like Killebrew, he has early day three value.
As the draft season progresses, more players will present themselves as options and scheme fits for the Lions scheme, so make sure you are checking back at DetroitJockCity.com for future articles. You can also follow me on Twitter (@erikschlitt) for more continuing analysis.