5 players the Detroit Lions need to prioritize in free agency

(Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) /
5 of 6
Detroit Lions, Emmanuel Ogbah
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions need to consider signing Emmanuel Ogbah.

Emmanuel Ogbah is coming off a season in which he earned $7.5 million as a member of the Miami Dolphins.  It comes to me as a bit of a surprise that the Dolphins seem content with letting a 28-year old productive defensive end walk, but that appears to be the case.

After releasing Trey Flowers, which freed up just over $10 million in salary-cap space, the Detroit Lions will be looking for a replacement.  Charles Harris is also a pending free agent, and I’d certainly like to see him return to the Lions. Still, if he elects to find a new home in free agency, Ogbah can be the perfect compliment to Romeo Okwara.

Many of us expect the Lions to target a pass-rusher with the second overall pick in the upcoming draft, but signing a proven end like Ogbah allows for many draft options.  The Lions can elect to pick safety Kyle Hamilton or defensive tackle Jordan Davis rather than Aidan Hutchinson, Travon Walker, or Kayvon Thibodeaux.

Also, by signing Ogbah, the Lions can confidently trade back in the first round but remain in the top ten and select an impactful receiver such as Drake London or linebackers like Nakobe Dean or Devin Lloyd to help bolster the second level of the defense.

Ogbah broke into the league as a rookie in 2016 after being selected 32nd overall by the Cleveland Browns, where he’d spend three seasons.  In those three years, he compiled 12.5 sacks over 40 games.  He’d then land in Kansas City for a season on a rotational basis appearing in 10 games totaling 5.5 sacks.

The 28-year old defensive end finally broke out two years ago in Miami, recording nine sacks and 42 tackles in 16 games.  Ogbah, a native of Nigeria, followed that up this past season with another nine sack campaign while totaling 41 tackles and a whopping 12 passes defended, making 11 starts and appearing in all 17 games.  Also, it’s noteworthy that of all the free-agent defensive ends, Ogbah led the group with 24 quarterback hits last season.  Next on the list is Jadeveon Clowney, with 19.

Ogbah fits the mold of a four-man front defensive end, and with the Detroit Lions transitioning back to more four-man front looks, he’s someone that needs to be targeted.

According to Spotrac, Ogbah is expected to earn $10 million annually; in comparison, Charles Harris, who hasn’t been as productive throughout his career to date, is projected to $8.6 million per season.