The first day of NFL free agency passed without the Lions making a significant move to upgrade their team. Sure they re-upped with Joique Bell and brought back Kevin Ogletree to compete at the wide receiver position, but nothing that made you want to jump on Twitter or Facebook to express your delight.
I'm here to remind you that's it's just one day. Maybe we were all spoiled with Detroit quickly addressing needs last year on day one by inking Reggie Bush, Jason Jones and Glover Quin. Maybe it's that other teams are quickly filling obvious voids like Denver grabbing T.J. Ward and Aqib Talib, or that others are scooping players we were hoping the Lions would lure like New Orleans getting Jairus Byrd.
Here's what I know. There is more than one way to fix a team, and it doesn't always have to be with big name players.
The Lions need to address a couple of different starting positions: safety and wide receiver. Despite Ward and Byrd being off the board, the Lions could still get a solid every-down starter in Chris Clemons, who has been very productive the last couple of seasons and is just 27-years-old, or James Ihedigbo.
They are talking with wide receiver Golden Tate, but, if that falls through, there are options in Emmanuel Sanders, Hakeem Nicks, Lance Moore, Jacoby Jones or James Jones.
By pursuing these positions and potentially signing players doesn't mean the Lions won't address those needs in the draft. Good teams in the NFL have depth, and the Lions can still add to theirs with the early picks in May.
Depending on who the Lions deem to be the best player available, don't be surprised to see North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron to be linked as a possibility at #10. Sure names like Dennard, Gilbert, Evans, Lewan and Pryor have been mentioned there, but analysts say this is a deep draft at wide receiver and corner. The Lions need a safety and receiver more than corner, but those who look at Ebron as only a TE aren't seeing the big picture.
Defenses now play "big nickel" schemes with three safeties and two corners. Offenses are in search of ways to get a mismatch, and a big, fast, versatile tight end is a way to do it. Ebron is athletic, fast, productive and has great hands. He also fits a desperate need if Brandon Pettigrew isn't re-signed.
Personally, it's not where I would go in the draft, but it has to be considered. Besides it's not like the Lions have taken my suggestions lately anyway: Jonathan Cooper last year, David DeCastro in 2012, and Ryan Kerrigan in 2011.
Matt Shepard is the play-by-play voice of University of Michigan basketball, Eastern Michigan University football and the Detroit Lions television network. He can also be found on TV locally on Fox Sports Detroit and nationally on the Big Ten Network for college hockey and baseball.Learn more.