The Detroit Lions are in the middle of a rebuilding phase and their moves in the offseason reflect an outlook beyond 2022. Of course, that mindset is best exemplified in their additions of playmakers like defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and wide receiver Jameson Williams in the NFL draft.
The flashy moves aren't always the ones that make the most impact, though. Finding those diamonds in the rough later in the draft and securing underestimated free agents at positions of need can be just as crucial. Let's take a look at three of the most underrated offseason additions for Detroit.
Detroit Lions Offseason Additions
1. DJ Chark, WR
A lot of NFL fans didn't bat an eye when the Lions signed DJ Chark to a one-year deal worth $10 million in free agency because he only appeared in four games last season. This is a receiver that can help quarterback Jared Goff out a lot, though. When healthy, Chark is a spectacular deep route runner and someone capable of making defenders whiff. That was best showcased when he posted 1,008 yards and 8 touchdowns during the 2019 NFL season. If the Lions can find a way to guide Chark back to that level of production, they have a dangerous WR duo with him and Amon-Ra St. Brown.
2. Mike Hughes, CB
Signing veteran Mike Hughes benefits Detroit in more ways than one. Most importantly, the Lions needed a veteran capable of stepping in if Jeff Okudah struggles in the secondary. The 2020 No. 3 overall pick missed almost the entire season in 2021 with a torn Achilles. Hughes is also only on the roster with a one-year deal if Okudah is able to live up to his potential. The 25-year-old logged 47 tackles, 6 pass breakups and 4 forced fumbles while playing in all 17 games for the Kansas City Chiefs last season. Having that level of production waiting in the wings is great for the Lions.
3. Malcolm Rodriguez, LB
Detroit's rookie class is going to be all about Hutchinson and Williams this fall, but don't overlook Malcolm Rodriguez as a name to watch. The Oklahoma State product was dominant in his final college season, tallying 129 tackles (16.0 for loss), 3.0 sacks, 4 pass breakups, 4 forced fumbles and 1 interception in 14 games played. He was selected in the sixth round and will look to earn the top backup spot behind starter Alex Anzalone in training camp. Rodriguez has all the makings of a player that will outplay his draft selection considering his raw athleticism and ability to tackle any opposing player. Banking on his upside was smart of the Lions front office.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.