The Detroit Lions’ 2021 campaign may be over, but there is still plenty of football left to watch.
With six playoff games occurring over wild card weekend, Lions fans, media, and front office staff alike have the chance to watch teams and players that they may not have been able to catch throughout the season.
The Lions have several holes on the roster that need to be filled, and there are a handful of soon-to-be free agents playing in games this weekend that the Lions should consider.
C.J. Uzomah, TE, Bengals
It may seem odd for the Lions to seek out another pass-catching tight end option when T.J. Hockenson is on the roster, but there’s a good reason that they should try and go after Uzomah in free agency.
Dan Campbell utilized multiple tight ends heavily throughout this season. While often it appeared he’d use a receiver like Hockenson alongside a big-bodied blocker such as Brock Wright, injuries and personnel changes forced some new looks on offense. Hockenson went to injured reserve and the Lions had to rely on the likes of Wright and depth players such as Shane Zylstra, Jared Pinkney, and Ross Travis.
If the Lions were to lock down Uzomah to a contract, the playbook would open up much more. Uzomah has been the clear starter in Cincinnati for several years and is coming off the most productive season of his career. With the Bengals in 2021, the 29-year-old tight end caught 49 passes for 493 yards and five touchdowns. Ball security is also a non-issue as he has yet to fumble in his seven-year career.
Paired with Hockenson, D’Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown and the other receivers that Detroit is bound to add this offseason, Uzomah would help open up the passing game even more and create some mismatch nightmares for opposing defenses when the Lions roll out with multiple tight ends.
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Cowboys
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The 19th-overall pick from the 2018 draft is set to be a free agent this offseason and is exactly the type of…