While their 2-9 record might not show it, the Detroit Lions are on the verge of becoming a very good football team. They just need a few more pieces from the draft and free agency next year. One of the most vital pieces that they need to acquire is a pass rushing linebacker.
Right now, the Lions are starting Ashlee Palmer, Julian Peterson and DeAndre Levy at the linebacker spots. Thus far this season, they have combined for just one sack. That's not going to cut it, especially when you consider just how dominating their defensive line is becoming.
The Lions wisely built up their defensive line over the summer. They already had a solid player in Cliff Avril. Corey Williams was rescued from the Cleveland Browns, who had him playing in an ill fitted 3-4 defense. The team then drafted a franchise player and defensive anchor in Ndamukong Suh. In an underrated move, the team also picked up Kyle Vanden Bosch as their first free agent signing. These four pieces fit together rather nicely.
With such a strong defensive line, it's imperative that one of the linebackers becomes a pass rushing force. The offensive line is already occupied by the front four. That should leave plenty of opportunities for someone to slip in and get sacks. There have been a lot more opportunities than the one combined sack that the linebacker trio has accumulated.
Within the first three rounds of next year's draft, the Lions most definitely need to select a linebacker.