The Detroit Lions created a huge hole at defensive end after cutting veteran Kyle Vanden Bosch. This roster move added to the current free agency status of Cliff Avril and Lawrence Jackson make the position one of the weakest on the team.
The big winner of the opening at defensive end could be Willie Young. The Lions drafted Young in the 7th round of the 2010 NFL Draft and have yet to see what he is capable of. Since being drafted into the league, Young has only played in 30 games and has 25 tackles and three sacks.
Detroit put their faith in Young as a future starter on the team by placing a second round tender on the free agent. If any team wants to offer a deal to Young, the Lions will have a chance to match the contract or will receive a second round pick in return. This is a pretty high tender offer for a former seventh round pick. With the tender comes a base salary of $2.02 million for Young in 2013.
Young will have big shoes to fill with the departure of Vanden Bosch and Avril. In 2012, Avril had 35 tackles, 9.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Vanden Bosch had 36 tackles and 3.5 sacks in the 2012 season.
The Lions will most likely add a defensive end during the 2013 NFL Draft and also are in the process of signing Jason Jones. However, I believe Willie Young will start and have a surprising 2013 season.