Lions: Three free agents from the New England Patriots to sign

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DT-Danny Shelton, 26 years old

Danny Shelton is a defensive tackle who fits the Detroit Lions defensive scheme.  Shelton was initially drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft, with the 12th overall pick.

While Shelton isn’t familiar with Detroit’s Matt Patricia, he remains a plug and play player in this system.  Matt Patricia continues to run Bill Belichick’s defense but with limited success.

The Detroit Lions may have a gigantic need in the middle of their defensive line if Damon Harrison decides to retire.  The stand out tackle is considering calling it a career after stating he’s tired of always hurting.  Harrison was nursing various injuries throughout the season. He was teary-eyed after Detroit’s season finale sitting in his locker while speaking to the press, mentioning this may be the end.

Detroit also has decisions to make regarding both A’Shawn Robinson and Mike Daniels.  The interior portion of the D-line may be receiving a complete facelift.

Danny Shelton produced his best complete season this past year in New England.  He graded out with a 71.6 overall grade, according to Pro Football Focus, in 2019.  He was a bit more efficient as a pass-rusher than a run-stuffer.  Detroit needs help in both areas.

Shelton totaled 57 tackles, 34 of those being solo takedowns. He forced one fumble and recorded three sacks on the season.

Shelton is a piece Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia considers in free agency.  Detroit may also have the option to draft Derrick Brown if they decide to trade back, picking somewhere between six and eight in the draft.  If Detroit paired the two together, it would significantly upgrade the defense.