Click here to return to the 2023 Reports List

Detroit Lions February Scouting Report
James Hintz

Lions report, February 2024: Year in review and free agency preview

QB: 2023 fantasy leader QB Jared Goff 4575 passing yards, 30 TD, 12 INT

Strong finish to the season for Goff as he played well in week 18 and all three playoff games as well. It looked like OC Ben Johnson was the favorite to be the new head coach of the Commanders, but he ended up deciding to stay with the Lions. I think this is huge for Goff and will help keep Goff viable as a fantasy option in 2024. The Lions are projected to have a decent amount of cap room, I believe the 8th most in the league heading into the offseason. But much of that space could be devoted to extending Goff and others. He has one year left on his deal so look for something to get done this offseason, but it could wait until summer. As for free agency, veteran backup QB Teddy Bridgewater was only on a 1 year deal and he is retiring. QB Nate Sudfeld spent the year on IR and he will be a free agent. QB David Blough spent the year on the practice squad but he just took a job with the Commanders coaching staff. So the depth chart is empty other than Goff and QB Hendon Hooker. It will be interesting to see if the Lions are comfortable with Hooker as the backup in 2024 when they will have high expectations again. Or will they look for a veteran in free agency.

RB: 2023 fantasy leaders RB Jahmyr Gibbs 1261 total yards, 11 TD, RB David Montgomery 1132 total yards, 13 TD.

Gibbs improved as the year went on and he will certainly be a high pick in 2024 fantasy drafts. It feels like he could improve in the receiving department where his season total was 52 catches for just 316 yards (6.1 yards per catch). Montgomery will also be back in 2024 to be the bruiser. He averaged a solid 4.6 yards per carry. The two backs clearly benefit from one of the best offensive lines in the league. There are some question marks with the line as both starting guards are going to be free agents. There was some thought that a banged up Frank Ragnow could consider retirement but that turned out to be incorrect. As for those guards, it will be a priority for the Lions to bring at least one of them (Jonah Jackson or Graham Glasgow) back. Since those are Detroit's top free agents and guards typically don't get tagged, the Lions won't be using the tags this year.

WR/TE: 2023 fantasy leaders WR Amon-Ra St. Brown 1539 total yards, 10 TD, TE Sam LaPorta 889 yards, 10 TD, WR Josh Reynolds 608 yards, 5 TD, WR Kalif Raymond 564 yards, 1 TD, WR Jameson Williams 383 total yards, 3 TD.

What a season from St. Brown. He is a stud and could join Goff in receiving a nice contract extension this spring or summer. LaPorta hit double digits in TDs but he also had a big time injury scare in week 18 as he hurt his knee against the Vikings. My first thought was it was an ACL which would have knocked him out for the playoffs and probably much of the 2024 season too. It turned out to be much less serious, and he even played in the wild card game a week later, although at less than 100%. He should be fine heading into the offseason and could put up even bigger numbers in 2024. A couple roster notes. The Lions actually signed TE Zach Ertz to the practice squad the week of the NFC Championship but he was not elevated, so we missed our chance to see Ertz in a Lions uniform. The Lions signed WR Tre'Quan Smith to their offseason roster. He's been around a bit so even though he is a longshot to make an impact, you never know. The Lions do have some receivers hitting free agency in Reynolds and WR Donovan Peoples-Jones. Reynolds had some tough drops in the NFC championship game. Goff likes him so he should return and get a chance at redemption.

D, K, ST: Aaron Glenn has some head coach interviews but he is staying as the defensive coordinator. The Lions did make some adjustments as the year went on, noticeably blitzing more, so credit Glenn for that. There is room for improvement in 2024. There are a few interesting guys on defense hitting free agency. S CJ Gardner Johnson probably tops that list. He had a one year deal and missed most of the season with an injury so who knows what his market will be. The Lions will likely be taking hard look at corners and edge rushers in free agency and the draft. They picked up an edge rusher from the CFL so they are looking everywhere. Most mock drafts I've seen so far have the Lions going with a corner at 29 and that would make sense. There are people dreaming about the Lions making a run at Chris Jones from the Chiefs. PK Michael Badgley was set to be a free agent but he already re-signed for 2024. The Lions go for it on fourth down more than any team in the league and that attitude was a big factor in their success in 2023. It would seem a lack of faith in Badgley factored into some of those 4th down decision, including in the NFC championship game, yet they wasted no time in re-signing him. I would expect Badgley to have competition for the job. Maybe this is the year the Lions draft a kicker.

Other notes:

2024 opponents:



The Lions along with the rest of the NFC North will play the NFC West and AFC South in 2024. The game at San Francisco will be a rematch of the NFC Championship game and should get a prime time spot. There are rematches of Detroit's other two playoff games, as they will host Matthew Stafford and the Rams, plus Tampa Bay as well.

The Lions will draft 29th in the first round of the draft which is being held in Detroit. Going defense with that pick seems likely, with cornerback a strong possibility, but we have many mock drafts to come.

I will be back next month as we dive into free agency and any other news.


Back to top of page
FFMastermind Logo

The Definitive Fantasy Information Service

Mastermind Moment Wins Another $1,500!
Sunday, January 7th, 2024

Many patrons ask Why should they subscribe to Premium Services when they are other cheaper services? Well,'s Michael Nazarek did it again!

Read the Full Mastermind Moment