Lions already looking like a very different team from a season ago

Posted Apr 21, 2013

Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew likes the current complexion of the roster heading into next week's NFL Draft

The Lions are already looking different than the team that stumbled to a 4-12 record last season.

They’ll have at least four new starters on defense and could have as many as five on offense depending on who starts opposite Calvin Johnson at receiver. Jeff Backus and Jason Hanson have retired.

General manager Martin Mayhew told reporters Thursday that he likes the additions the Lions made in free agency with Reggie Bush, Glover Quin, and Jason Jones.

Reggie BushRB Reggie Bush

"I thought free agency went very well for us,” he said. “We went through the process, really, with three primary targets and we hit all three of those guys. Got all three of those guys in early, got them all signed. So I think we have a lot of positive momentum going forward and want to build on that next week."

There are still some holes along the offensive and defensive lines, and the Lions still could use some added depth and talent at other positions, too. But Mayhew likes the makeup of the roster heading into draft week.

"I feel good about where we are right now," he said. "I do. I like what we've got going in terms of our players, the core unit of players stepping up.

"Seeing what Matthew (Stafford) has done this offseason is very encouraging for me. I saw Calvin (Johnson) the other day and he's in great condition, he looks great. Stephen Tulloch is becoming a leader for us now. We’ve got a good group of guys coming up now that are taking that mental leadership going forward. I’m excited about that.”

Of the 64 players currently on the roster, 48 have five years of experience or less. This roster is composed of a lot of younger players who are either coming into their own or have something to prove.

Mayhew likes the current complexion of the roster and the Lions could potentially be in line to get three or four more starters in a deep draft.

The Lions needed to look different in 2013 and they will.