10 QUESTIONS WITH TWENTYMAN: What will we see from Harrison in his second game with Lions?

During the regular season Tim Twentyman will answer 10 good questions every week from his Twitter account @ttwentyman in a feature we call "10 Questions with Twentyman."

20man: Here's my take on the trade. It was a big picture move that makes good sense from both a team building and football business perspective. Don't forget the NFL is a business.

Tate was on the last year of his contract, and was going to be 31-years-old next season.

Marvin Jones Jr.'s contract calls for significant raises in the final two years, starting next season. Kenny Golladay will be in the third year of his four-year rookie contract. His future will have to be decided, and then paid for.

Tate's production over the years warranted a good pay day this offseason. I thought Detroit got great value for a player they probably weren't going to re-sign next offseason.

Tough decisions have to be made when it comes to the salary cap and roster building. For the most part, this is a young man's game. Tate was a great player in Detroit, he's going to be good in Philadelphia, and I'll certainly miss the availability he always gave those covering the team.

In the end, you just can't let emotions get in the way of a good business move.

20man: The Lions have nine picks. They have a pick in every round and additional picks in the sixth and seventh rounds.

The draft is a ways off. The Lions haven't even played half of their season yet. It also comes after free agency, so the needs in the draft always change in the weeks leading up to it.

In general, I'd say at this point the Lions could use a pass rusher, a cornerback, get younger at the safety position, add a receiver and maybe a right guard depending on T.J. Lang's future status.

20man: It's a little difficult with Thielen because he's running 62 percent of his routes from the slot, and that's not an area Slay typically plays a lot from. He's usually an outside guy. It's a little different game playing the slot.

That being said, we've seen Slay shadow receivers and shut down some of the league's best. Do the Lions go into this game best on best with the mindset of not letting Thielen, who leads the NFL with 925 receiving yards and has eight straight 100-yard receiving games, beat them?

It's a tough call. It really is. I think the Lions' defense has a real dilemma this week because Stefon Diggs can kill a defense too. He has three games this year with at least 10 catches.

Do the Lions put Slay on Diggs and try to bracket Thielen a bit with Nevin Lawson and others? Do they shadow Slay on Thielen and try to make someone else beat them?

Keeping Slay outside and getting creative with Thielen when he's inside probably makes the most sense, but it's a tough call this week.

20man: Minnesota is getting things going on the ground of late, and Dalvin Cook looks like he's getting closer to returning from a hamstring injury. We'll see if he plays this week.

Harrison was terrific in his Lions debut. He had seven solo tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack after just two practices and a Saturday walkthrough. He hadn't even learned some of the stunts the Lions play upfront.

He's a big, powerful man, and I'd expect that he continues to play better and better the more comfortable he gets in this defense.

20man: Doesn't seem like you like the trade. Would you rather have the player? It's a valid opinion to have in a situation where he's the leading receiver on a team that's a game out of first place in the division.

I'd simply remind you of the value a third-round pick can hold. Golladay was a third-round pick in 2017. That looks right now like a great third-round pick by GM Bob Quinn. What about the Graham Glasgow pick from 2016? He was also a third rounder. Glasgow can start at guard or center – currently the team's starting center – and is graded among the top half of centers in the NFL by Pro Football Focus.

Quinn has drafted pretty well in the third round, in my opinion.

20man: Most immediately, it will likely be TJ Jones and Brandon Powell. Both could see an uptick in slot snaps, though how they'll be distributed right away is still a bit of a mystery.

I'm kind of curious to see how Jones, in particular, handles this opportunity. The Lions tendered him as a restricted free agent this offseason after he caught a career-high 30 passes for 399 yards last season. He's made some big catches over a career that's seen limited opportunity.

20man: Jones is the more versatile of the two in that he's bigger (6-0, 190) and can also play on the outside. He's got a little bit more long speed than Powell. Jones is a 4.48 guy. Powell ran mid-4.5's at his Pro Day this past offseason.

At 5-foot-8, 181 pounds, Powell is smaller, but much more shiftier than Jones. He's a quick-twitch athlete with terrific quickness.

It's really two different skillsets the Lions can now employ in the slot. It will probably depend on the matchup week-to-week or prior performance that will determine usage.

And if they decide to use Theo Riddick in the slot some, make it three unique skillsets.

20man: I could see that being a byproduct. I wouldn't just limit it to the run game, however. Johnson showed last week he can be a big part of the passing game, too.

I think the Lions were trending toward trying to find more ways to get him the football. Tate's absence opens up a lot more chances for a lot of players to touch the ball more, with Johnson certainly included in that mix.

20man: Not really. I think this tight end group is what it is. They are a very good blocking group, with a very defined role in the passing game. I don't see that changing too much.

20man: Ansah's been a limited participant in practice the last two days, the same status he's been since he returned to practice weeks ago after injuring his shoulder Week 1. Lions head coach Matt Patricia continues to categorize his injury as day to day.

At this point, I honestly have no idea when he might return. We only see a small portion of practice. He looks to be doing more during those open sessions over the last week, but who knows.

I'd probably say the safe bet is we'll see Ansah in a game after we see his practice status go from limited to full, but again, that's just a guess on my part.

Related Content

Advertising