By Brian Kalchik @BrianKalchik on July 1, 2014
The Lions underwent a major makeover in recent months designed to get rid of the bad taste from last season's poor finish. From coaches like Jim Caldwell and Joe Lombardi to players like Golden Tate and Eric Ebron, the Lions upgraded their personnel on the sidelines and on the field. Here are five key offseason additions with the most to offer Detroit in 2014.
With the recent departure of longtime starting corner Chris Houston, fourth-round draft pick Nevin Lawson now has an opportunity to be a contributor this season. Even if he doesn't start, expect Lawson to see significant snaps as either a nickel or dime back in passing downs.
James Ihedigbo might not be one of the elite safeties in the NFL, but his knowledge of new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin's system will help the other players adjust to the new scheme.
The Lions have needed someone to complement Stephen Tulloch and DeAndre Levy for at least the past two seasons. Now with Kyle Van Noy in the fold, he can be an effective linebacker as well as an edge rusher on obvious passing downs.
In the draft, Detroit used the 10th overall pick on TE Eric Ebron even with players like Joseph Fauria and Brandon Pettigrew on the roster. In Lombardi's new offense, Ebron will fill the role of Jimmy Graham as a versatile target who can lineup anywhere on the field and be effective.
The Lions spent big on Golden Tate in free agency in an effort to take pressure off Calvin Johnson. Tate was given the second-richest contract for any free agent wide receiver because of his good hands and his toughness.
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