2021 position breakdown: Outside linebackers

Key stat: Detroit’s 30 sacks in 17 games were the third lowest in the NFL this season behind only Philadelphia (29.0) and Atlanta (18.0). The Lions had a month-long lull of sack-less games in the middle of the season.

Detroit had the ninth highest blitz percentage (27.3) in the NFL this season, according to Pro Football Reference stats, but it still didn’t lead to a lot of sacks. Detroit’s 66 quarterback hurries ranked middle of the pack in the NFL.

Free agents: Charles Harris (unrestricted), Rashod Berry (exclusive rights), Jessie Lemonier (exclusive rights)

Harris is obviously the big name here. He had a breakout season with the Lions and found a scheme in Detroit that really fits his skill set. He led the team with a career-high 7.5 sacks and will likely get some interest around the league in free agency.

Lemonier was inactive most of the year, but got a chance to play down the stretch and notched 14 tackles and 1.5 sacks in the last five games of the season. As exclusive rights free agents, if the Lions want Lemonier and Berry back in 2022, they will be Lions.

Draft: If the Lions want to boost their pass rush, this is a good draft to do so.

It’s very early in the pre-draft process, but the two highest graded prospects currently available in the draft are Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson and Oregon pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux, with…

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