The official start of the new league year and free agency is a week away, and that's when the retooling of Detroit's roster can officially begin for new Lions general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell.
There are a lot of new faces on the Lions coaching staff and front office, and Campbell said last week that past experience with some of this year's free agents could come in handy when deciding who to go after.
"In free agency you don't always know what all the warts are," Campbell said. "You do when you've been with these guys and sometimes, you're harder on your own guys when you're around them longer. But I've said this before and the staff knows this, man, Brad's been at the Rams, so has Ray Agnew (Jr.), right? Duce (Staley) has been at Philly. Mark DeLeone has been at Chicago. I mean, so yes, but that doesn't mean that they are all going to be from one team.
"So, if there's some guys out there that are from other teams that we have history with, this coaching staff has history with, our personnel department, our GM, our assistant GM has history with that we know and we trust and are our type of guys, yeah, I would say that would be pretty intriguing."
With that being said, here is my list of 10 potential free agents that could interest the Lions:
1. Troy Hill, CB, LA Rams
Hill is a playmaking cornerback who played primarily in the slot last season, but he has experience playing outside as well. He recorded a career-high three interceptions last season and scored two touchdowns for the Rams' top-ranked secondary. New Lions defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant coached the cornerbacks in Los Angeles the last four seasons and knows Hill well. Hill also recorded 77 tackles in 2020, so he's not afraid to mix it up in the run game as well.
2. Michael Davis, CB, LA Chargers
Davis has terrific size (6-2) and is coming off his most productive season for the Chargers in 2020, recording three interceptions, defending 14 passes and notching 64 tackles. Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn knows Davis' skill set and fit better than anyone having been his head coach in Los Angeles the last four seasons.
3. Romeo Okwara, DE, Detroit
Okwara is coming off a career year for the Lions where he recorded 10.0 sacks, 18 quarterback hits and 11 tackles for loss. His 61 total pressures in 2020 were tied for the fifth most among all the league's defensive ends. Okwara has played five NFL seasons already and only turns 26 in June. He's in his prime.
4. Trey Hendrickson, DE, New Orleans
After playing a reserve role his first three seasons in New Orleans, Hendrickson started 15 games last season and notched a career-best 13.5 sacks with 25 quarterback hits. The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Hendrickson could give Detroit another edge rusher to pair with Trey Flowers if Okwara isn't re-signed.
5. Josh Reynolds, WR, LA Rams
The Lions already added veteran free agent wide receiver Tyrell Williams, and the remake of their receiver corps isn't done yet with the news Tuesday that the team did not use their franchise tag on Kenny Golladay, making him an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins March 17. Holmes played a role in drafting Reynolds in the fourth round in 2017. Reynolds is coming off a 52-catch, 618-yard season.
6. Matt Milano, LB, Buffalo
It's no secret Detroit is looking to retool their linebacker corps, and Milano is a player who can do a little bit of everything. He can cover and also play the run. He has 101 tackles in 15 games in 2019, and despite missing six games last season due to injury, recorded 3.5 sacks. He had three interceptions in 2018.
7. John Johnson, S, LA Rams
Johnson recorded 105 tackles and eight passes defended with one interception last season. In each of the two seasons (2018 & 2020) Johnson played and started all 16 games, he's recorded at least 100 tackles. He had four interceptions in 2018.
8. Sheldon Rankins, DT, New Orleans
The Lions need more depth inside along their defensive line and the veteran Rankins could certainly provide that. His best season was in 2018, when he recorded 8.0 sacks for the Saints, so he's got some pass-rushing prowess from the interior. He played in 12 games last season and recorded 20 tackles, 1.5 sacks and nine quarterback hits.
View photos of new Lions wide receiver Tyrell Williams.
9. Morgan Fox, DE, LA Rams
Fox played a reserve role in Los Angeles the last four seasons, but is coming off his most productive season in 2020. He played in all 16 games for the Rams this past season (two starts) and notched a career-best 6.0 sacks with nine quarterback hits, 27 tackles and eight tackles for loss. That's good production for a guy who played less than 500 snaps last season.
10. Corey Clement, RB, Philadelphia
D’Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson are under contract for the 2021 season, but Detroit could look to round out their backfield with a veteran like Clement, who new Lions running backs coach Duce Staley knows well from his time coaching the position with the Eagles. Clement averaged 4.3 yards per carry with four touchdowns as a rookie in 2017, but carried the ball just 89 times the last three seasons as a reserve.