After a majorly disappointing 4-12 season, the Detroit Lions will be looking to have a significant bounce back year in 2013. This is quite likely, and the biggest thing this team needs is just to be healthier and luckier. They can't do much about that in terms of making offseason moves, except perhaps adding depth. Guys like Louis Delmas can't be relied upon to stay healthy, it would seem.
However, if they want to focus on one particular area, they need to look on the defensive side of the ball. Technically, their special teams was the worst aspect of their performance, but you fix that by added a few guys late in a draft and some cheap free agents. While most would likely assume addressing the pass defense would be more important, according to Football Outsiders' metrics, they were actually worse against the run than the pass. This was also true in 2011. So, it would seem, that Detroit's main problem is stopping the run, not the pass.
This is fairly concerning because the Lions have so much money invested in their defensive line, namely Ndamukong Suh who, while an excellent pass rusher for a defensive tackle, is somewhat of a liability against the run. However, both he and Nick Fairley are still young and improving. Meanwhile, the Lions could be looking at two new defensive ends next season. Cliff Avril is going to want big money, and he's a pass rush specialist. Kyle Vanden Bosch's best days are behind him, and he's also a free agent.
That being said, this may not be too much of a concern. While I will be getting into more NFL Draft stuff soon, right now I'm thinking the Lions will end up drafting a defensive end if they keep the fifth overall pick. There is no cornerback worth taking. They could maybe take a defensive tackle, but they aren't going to do that I imagine. However, there are quite a few defensive ends worth taking high this year, although ends are generally thought of more as pass rushers.
Maybe in a later round they can take another defensive tackle for the rotation. A big, run stuffing type for short yardage situations and what have you. Then, there are the linebackers. I tend to think that Detroit has a strong linebacking corps, but maybe that isn't quite the case. Or perhaps the issue has been injuries at safety hurting that help defense on the run.
The Lions need to improve their run defense. Experience can help there. A defensive end who is strong against the run helps. Perhaps a new linebacker is needed. Detroit has a very high first round pick and the chance to scour the free agent market. They can also spend their day two picks on defense, because if the Lions even think about taking a skill position player before round five I will be irked. Just by not being as unlucky Detroit will be better next season. If they improve their run defense, they can improve even more.
Also, I meant to include my NFL playoff picks last week, but forgot. I happened to go 4-0, which wasn't terribly difficult. You'll have to take my word on it. This week, I'm going with the 49ers, Seahawks, Patriots, and Broncos. Football!