The Duel

Players the Lions Should Target to Rebuild Their Pass Defense

Max Staley
Jeff Okudah could help rebuild Detroit's secondary.
Jeff Okudah could help rebuild Detroit's secondary. / Joe Robbins/Getty Images
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For a defensive-minded head coach, the results sure haven't been pretty during Matt Patricia's tenure with the Detroit Lions. In 2019, they finished as the fourth-worst pass defense, per Football Outsiders' DVOA metrics, and no one surrendered more passing yards on the season than Detroit.

If Patricia is looking to overhaul this defense on the fly, the secondary would be a good place to start. With that in mind, here are three players the Lions could target to rebuild their pass defense.

1. Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

Jeff Okudah will be the top corner off the board in 2020.
Jeff Okudah will be the top corner off the board in 2020. / Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Jeff Okudah will almost certainly be the first defensive back selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. He's been frequently mocked to the Lions at No. 3, and the fit certainly makes sense. Assuming they don't trade out of the pick, Okudah could instantly come in and provide an upgrade in the secondary.

2. Devin McCourty, Safety, New England Patriots

Devin McCourty could be looking for a new home this offseason.
Devin McCourty could be looking for a new home this offseason. / Billie Weiss/Getty Images

Tom Brady isn't the only big-name New England Patriot with an uncertain future. Devin McCourty is set to enter free agency as well, and Detroit would be a natural landing spot for the two-time Pro Bowler thanks to his connection with Patricia, his former coach. Detroit could clearly use an upgrade on the backend, and McCourty would provide just that.

3. Chris Harris Jr.

Chris Harris Jr. looks like he'll hit free agency this offseason.
Chris Harris Jr. looks like he'll hit free agency this offseason. / Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Now that A.J. Bouye has been traded to the Denver Broncos, Chris Harris Jr. leaving the team feels like a foregone conclusion. While he had a bit of a down year in 2019, he was coming off leg injury from the season prior, so it's fair to cut him some slack. A four-time Pro Bowler, Harris would undoubtedly improve Detroit's secondary, and he could provide a much-needed veteran presence if the Lions ultimately move on from Darius Slay.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. 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.

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