Stay or Go: Defensive Tackle Depth Wanted In Detroit

Defensive Tackle Has Many Openings With Multiple Players On One Year Contracts.

Detroit is going to have to bring in some new defensive tackles for the 2017 season. Many players on the roster were on a one year contract, and most won’t return. Luckily for Detroit, this draft class and free agent class has many possible replacements for the defensive line that could use all the help it could get. Ngata seems to be on his last leg, Walker wasn’t what we expected and more. Detroit has some cap money to spend and with a good class coming into free agency, it could be a good opportunity to spend at the position.

Haloti Ngata

Ngata had his worst year of his career. He only accumulated 11 tackles, a sack and a half, and three pass deflections. He has a big salary cap in 2017 and getting rid of him saves the team around five to six million. Ngata isn’t worth that much with his production, his time in Detroit is up.

Decision: Go

A’Shawn Robinson

The best defensive tackle on the team was Robinson hands down. Sure his numbers aren’t eye-popping, but his 22 tackles, two sacks and seven pass deflections lead the defensive tackle group. His playing time increased as the season went on and he proved to be a good second round pick in the 2016 draft, a starter for a long time coming.

Decision: Stay

Khyri Thornton

Thornton came in the season as a possible number four tackle, but as the year moved on he started six games. He isn’t a starter yet, but he is a good number three tackle. He had 14 tackles and one sack in the 13 games he appeared in. He can get better and with a cheap contract, he shouldn’t be hard to keep.

Decision: Stay

Tyrunn Walker

A big injury ruined Walker’s 2015 season. 2016 was his redemption year and he blew it. Starting in eight games, playing in 15 he only wounded up with 15 tackles and a fumble recovery. Walker has never been a great defensive tackle and fans were expecting too much out of him. Walker is luckily on a one year deal, so no point in trying to bring him back.

Decision: Go

Stefan Charles

The worst defensive tackle on the team. Charles missed some of the year with an injury, but the 12 games he was in, he only got seven tackles. Now he was buried on the depth chart, so he didn’t have much of a chance to play, but when he did, he didn’t do much. Detroit can move on from him as well.

Decision: Go

Possible Replacements

  • Dontari Poe
  • Kawann Short
  • Domata Peko
  • Nick Fairley
  • Terrell McClain
  • Johnathan Hankins
  • Bennie Logan
  • Ryan Glasgow, Michigan
  • Jaleel Johnson, Iowa
  • Jarron Jones, Notre Dame
  • Dalvin Tomlinson, Alabama

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About the Author

Brandon Knapp
Brandon Knapp is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Journalism, minoring in Sports Management. He was born and raised in the city of Marysville, MI. He also writes for and covers the Michigan Wolverines Football team (his other love). Brandon also enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers.