2021 position breakdown: Linebackers

Key stat: The Lions blitzed much more frequently under Glenn than we’ve seen from Detroit defenses in recent history. It didn’t result in a lot of additional sacks (11 sacks when blitzing), but sacks aren’t the only stat to measure the effectiveness of the blitz. Opposing quarterbacks had a passer rating of just 83.81 in passing situations against Detroit’s blitz, which was the sixth lowest in the NFL with eight touchdowns and five interceptions.

If the Lions can improve their edge rushing, and Glenn can continue to be creative with his blitz packages, not only with the linebackers, but with the corners and safeties, too, then there’s the making of having a pretty good pass defense from a front-seven perspective.

Free agents: Alex Anzalone (unrestricted), Shaun Dion Hamilton (unrestricted), Jalen Reeves-Maybin (unrestricted), Josh Woods (restricted) and Anthony Pittman (exclusive rights).

There are a lot of names on this list, which means Detroit’s linebacker room could look very different next season.

Reeves-Maybin is certainly a candidate for re-signing. Not only did he prove he can play defense while bringing speed and playmaking ability to the position, but he also led the Lions with 10 special teams tackles.

Anzalone did some good things in his first season in Detroit. He’s a Dan Campbell kind of player.

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