For now, the Detroit Lions appear to be mostly done in free agency -- I still expect a few more moves but nothing major -- and the attention will turn to next month's NFL draft.
That's where a lot of your questions lie, so let's get right to it. To ask a question, use the hashtag #LionsMailbag on Twitter, email me at email@example.com or hit me up on my Facebook page (and you should follow that anyway).
@mikerothstein chances we trade down? #lionsmailbag - doug mccready (@dgmccready) March 20, 2015@mikerothstein: This is something I would imagine Detroit would try to investigate heavily this spring, especially since the team traded fourth-and-fifth round picks to Baltimore for Haloti Ngata. The Lions have a bunch of needs and could use those mid-round picks back to add some young depth at defensive tackle, the secondary, offensive line, running back and wide receiver. Those are the immediate areas of need. That said -- and I've written this often -- the Lions would need to find a willing trade partner for this to happen. It'll be something to look at over the next few weeks, but the chances are a move won't get made until draft day since the Lions are down at No. 23. I'd say there's a chance, though. ---
@mikerothstein #LionsMailbag I know it's unlikely, but what chance do you give the Lions trading up for Trae Waynes? - nick (@nick9555) March 19, 2015@mikerothstein: As long as you recognize this is unlikely, we'll start here. Waynes is the best corner in the draft, but I don't believe Detroit would even have enough resources to trade up far enough to grab him. Now, if he starts to slide and is still around in the late teens, I'd make a call if I'm Martin Mayhew, but I don't anticipate Waynes being around for that long. Detroit will almost definitely take a cornerback in this draft for Rashean Mathis to groom as his eventual replacement, but it likely won't be Waynes. Just don't see it happening. Too many other holes for the Lions to fill. Never mind Detroit hasn't taken a cornerback in the first round in more than a decade.
@mikerothstein #LionsMailbag could Reynolds potentially factor into comp picks next yr? - Geoff Boose (@gbooser) March 19, 2015@mikerothstein: There's a chance, I guess, but a lot of other free agents switched teams and Garrett Reynolds may not play at all. So potentially? Sure. Potentially. But highly unlikely. The Lions are likely to pick up a couple of compensatory picks since Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley went elsewhere in free agency, but the signings of Jed Collins (Dallas) and Reynolds (St. Louis) should have less of an impact. Don't forget the Lions also picked up Tyrunn Walker from New Orleans, who would count against the Lions' potential compensatory kitty. But the franchise should expect to pick up some extra 2016 picks.
@mikerothstein #LionsMailbag Despite previous denials from Coach Caldwell do you think #Lions will bring in Ray Rice? - Willy Trencher (@willytrencher) March 19, 2015@mikerothstein: For many reasons this does not seem like a fit. Both general manager Martin Mayhew and coach Jim Caldwell have stressed the importance of character when it comes to the players they bring in. While Caldwell clearly knows Rice well from their time together in Baltimore, I just don't know if that's a road the Lions want to go down. Second, Rice had 921 all-purpose yards in 2013, his last year in the league. That doesn't scream massive improvement from what Detroit has now. If anything, the Lions are going to try to get younger at running back instead of signing a 28-year-old who had production dips from 2011 to 2012 and from 2012 to 2013.
@mikerothstein Tahir Whitehead played well in relief last year. Now having Ngata I think a 3-4 D in the D would work well #LionsMailbag - Jeremy Dill (@dillpickled) March 16, 2015@mikerothstein: This is an interesting question because I've heard conflicting things. Defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker, when he talked with the media after his signing, said he was told he wouldn't be two-gapping -- typically a staple of a 3-4 defense. Then again, I've heard from multiple players they expect to see at least some 3-4 this season so I think what's going to happen is this: The Lions will be much more multiple in their fronts in 2015 than in 2014, when they relied heavily on four-man lines. Having a multiple defense fits Teryl Austin's scheme well and the acquistions/re-signings the team has made along the line (Haloti Ngata, Walker, Darryl Tapp, Phillip Hunt) scream a multiple front defense. So that's what I'd expect, although Austin has not been available to explain what his plans are schematically in 2015.
@mikerothstein was wanting your opinion on Broyles. It's hard to believe the all-time NCAA receptions leader doesn't play. #Lionsmailbag - Joe Glenn (@JoeG1414) March 14, 2015@mikerothstein: Ryan Broyles is a very decent and good human being. He's one of the more positive players I've encountered in the locker room, even when he's not playing. As a player, it's an interesting case. I thought he showed enough during the preseason to warrant some usage during the season and I never bought the being Golden Tate's backup role because Tate is versatile enough that he could be used in mulitple receiving spots within the offense. To compare him to the player he was at Oklahoma is difficult, though, because that was two ACL injuries and an Achillies injury ago. Three massive injuries to your lower body -- a major key to being an explosive wide receiver -- will take their toll. Broyles looked explosive enough when he played last season, but the coaches clearly saw something I didn't. That said, this should be the first offseason where Broyles is healthy throughout. I'm curious to see what he looks like in offseason workouts. Detroit has openings for depth receivers, for sure, and Broyles will likely get one more shot.