The Detroit Lions have set their sights on bolstering their defense, and one name that has emerged as a potential fit is the talented free agent defensive tackle Poona Ford. As we reported back on January 30, Ford could bring valuable experience and production to the Lions’ struggling defense.
A Lion’s Share of Talent
The Lions have made significant strides this offseason, particularly in revamping their secondary by signing Cameron Sutton, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, and Emmanuel Moseley. However, as the draft draws near, the team’s focus has shifted to addressing their defensive tackle needs. They are in search of someone capable of generating pass rush from the interior, potentially considering Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter or Calijah Kancey as draft picks.
Nevertheless, the possibility of adding a veteran defensive tackle like Ford remains a feasible option. Matt Lombardo of Heavy.com has identified the Lions as one of the top three best fits for Ford, who is currently a free agent.
Ford’s Body of Work
Ford has consistently showcased his ability to create interior pressure, proving to be a major headache for quarterbacks. During his 2022 season with the Seattle Seahawks, he generated 22 quarterback pressures, along with a career-high 3.0 sacks, 14 hurries, and 35 total tackles. Ford’s performance places him among the top-15 talents in his position, making him an attractive option for teams aiming to strengthen their defensive line.
While his numbers dipped slightly last season, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll acknowledged that improper usage (too many snaps, 3-technique instead of nose) was a likely contributor. As Ford looks for a new team, he is likely to agree to an affordable one-year deal, making him an enticing prospect for the Lions.
An Ideal Fit for a Defensive Overhaul
The Lions’ defense has been in dire need of improvement, with their offense carrying the weight in recent seasons. Ford’s versatility and production as an interior defender could provide the necessary spark to elevate the entire unit. He boasts impressive stats, averaging 42.6 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 6.7 tackles for loss. Additionally, he is averaging 12 quarterback pressures over the past three seasons.
At just 27 years old and with a projected market value of $9 million annually, Poona Ford is ready to capitalize on his success. Despite being undrafted, Ford has built a reputation as a tenacious and disruptive force on the field. He is drawing comparisons to established star Javon Hargrave. His addition could be the catalyst needed to unleash the potential of Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston. For these reasons he is an ideal candidate for the Lions as they look to revamp their defense.
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