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This week's Lions-Cardinals game has NFL Draft implications. Justin Rogers and John Niyo break the game down and talk about Detroit's offseason needs. Justin Rogers, The Detroit News

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Allen Park — It's Thursday and the mail is here. With little interest in the upcoming matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, we decided to go long with the feature, so here's a record-breaking 27 questions and answers about the Detroit Lions.

Butterfingers and Honey Buns. 

I do not. First, because there's little value in adding a high-profile player for the stretch run when you're 4-8. And two, Benjamin has never been that good. 

What he has, undeniably, is size. But look back to his rookie year, the only season he topped 1,000 yards, and you can see how inefficient the process was for Benjamin. It took 145 targets for him to catch 73 passes. 

This year, it's been even worse. Benjamin has been targeted 62 times and caught just 23 balls. That 37.1 percent success rate is the worst in football. Sure, you can pin some of that on the QB play in Buffalo, but Benjamin isn't a great route runner, doesn't get much separation, plus he's shown an inconsistent commitment to conditioning. 

Lions should pass. There's nothing to be gained here. 

A perfect draft, a strong free-agency period and maybe another Snacks-level addition via trade, where the Lions ship out a draft pick for an established veteran who fills a major hole. 

This offseason, general manager Bob Quinn needs to find a defensive end, starting cornerback, guard, tight end and wide receiver. The team could stand to upgrade in other places, but those are the musts. If he can somehow manage to hit on all of them, through any of the various modes of player acquisition, that's the key to a turnaround.

The other part of the equation is coaching and development. You're banking on young players like Frank Ragnow, Jarrad Davis, Jamal Agnew and Tracy Walker to take decisive steps forward in their performances. And if the Lions do make a change at offensive coordinator, it will be imperative to find a football mind that is capable of capitalizing on the available talent.

Financially, the Lions could afford it, but the same question remains from when the two sides were talking an extension early this year — how much does the team want to commit to an over-30 slot receiver who makes a living on his short-area quickness?

Tate's likely to get somewhere around $10-12 million per year on the open market, and if I'm his agent, I'm pushing for a fourth year on the deal, because it will be Tate's last big-money contract. Given the Lions many, many needs, that's probably too much to commit, given the value of the position. 

No, and I think that was one of Caldwell's defining traits.

I'll go to my grave believing Caldwell's conservative offensive approach his first year here, including reeling in Stafford's aggression in favor of better decision-making, cost the Lions their best opportunity to make a run at the Super Bowl in three decades.

But after losing Ndamukong Suh to free agency, Calvin Johnson to retirement and DeAndre Levy to injury, Caldwell and his staff squeezed about as much production and success as he could out of rosters he had his final three years. 

The fade isn't a great route. It's essentially a 50-50 ball and there are more efficient ways to go about scoring near the goal line. Golladay is tall, but he doesn't have particularly long arms or an elite vertical jump.

Compared to Calvin Johnson, between height, reach and leaping ability, he could high-point a ball nearly a foot higher than Golladay. 

Surprised positively, Kerryon Johnson and Da'Shawn Hand. Even if you see promising signs through the offseason, you temper expectations with rookies. Johnson has been better than I could have imagined watching his college tape, in part because Auburn ran him into the ground, likely hampering some of his explosive ability. 

On defense, Hand has been both impactful and consistent. As noted several times, he could stand to add some upper-body strength, but he uses his hands and length so well to play the run and disrupt the pocket.

As for disappointments, probably LeGarrette Blount and Glover Quin.

I had long been supportive of the idea of adding Blount to the roster, but outside of his play the past two games, he's struggled to have the expected impact. I know he's never been a pure power back, despite his size, but his east-west vs. north-south tendencies have been troubling.

With Quin, I could have never imagined the drop-off in performance he's had this season. The cerebral veteran safety has made a career on being in the right place at the right time because superior study habits fuel his elite anticipation. This year, he's been a step slower to those spots and that's made all the difference in the world. 

A year after forcing seven turnovers, he has zero in 2018. 

Good defense, no turnovers and a little luck. 

To beat the Cardinals, the Lions would benefit from forcing rookie Josh Rosen into a big mistake or two, finding a way to generate some chunk gains in the passing game, capitalizing on red-zone trips and slowing down defensive end Chandler Jones, who is having another excellent season. 

The run component of the front four is shaping up nicely, but the Lions still need more from the pass rush. The Lions are 28th in pressure rate, according to Football Outsiders. With that in mind, yes, finding Ansah's replacement should be the top priority in the draft.

I'm a fan of LSU cornerback Greedy Williams, and if there isn't a clear-cut edge-rushing option when the Lions are on the clock in April, I'd have a hard time criticizing the pick. Williams is tall, long and doesn't allow many passes thrown his way to be completed.

My main concern is his weight and how that will impact his ability in run support as well as his durability. 

I'm going to assume you're asking about Le'Veon Bell and the answer should be no. He's looking for a massive contract that will compensate him based on his ability to be a workhorse who can produce big numbers rushing and receiving the ball. 

If you're going to pony up $12-15 million per season, you better be prepared to lean on Bell for at least 75 percent of snaps. That wouldn't make sense in Detroit, with Kerryon Johnson in the mix. 

Mufasa: Matthew Stafford 
Ed: Darius Slay
Simba: Kerryon Johnson
Scar: A'Shawn Robinson. Although, I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to murder his own quarterback. But if he changes his mind, their lockers are right next to each other. 

I wouldn't count on it. The Honolulu blue — although I'm fairly certain the shade has changed a few times over the years — is part of the team's identity. And Detroit is in the second year of its recent uniform overall, which cut the black trim from the package, so I wouldn't expect anything new for the next several years.

I wouldn't call them unknown, but I'll give you a few lesser-known players on my radar. For Day 2, Louisiana Tech defensive end Jaylon Ferguson and on Day 3, UMass slot receiver Andy Isabella and Northwestern linebacker Paddy Fisher.

When I mentioned earlier about scouring the trade market for establish veterans, Peterson would certainly fit the bill. He's still in his prime at 28 and would make for a lethal 1-2 combo with Darius Slay. Peterson is also under contract for two more years. 

I would imagine the Cardinals would aim to get a first-round pick in return, maybe more. That's not a price the Lions should be willing to pay, especially selecting near the top of the draft. But a second-rounder? Or two thirds? Sure, pull the trigger.

Here are the players that are near locks to be on the roster in 2020: Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay, Kerryon Johnson, Frank Ragnow, Taylor Decker, Graham Glasgow, Da'Shawn Hand, Devon Kennard, Damon Harrison, Darius Slay, Quandre Diggs, Tracy Walker and Jamal Agnew.

Jarrad Davis probably makes the cut, as well, but after a disappointing sophomore season, it's tough to say how the organization will feel about him in a year. 

If I could cover any sports team, the decision would be based long-term on where I'd like to live and short-term on the attitude of the organization toward the media. Among NFL teams, Seattle or Minnesota are two that quickly come to mind. 

Worldwide, send me to Spain to cover FC Barcelona. 

But if I'm being honest, I'd probably want to write about something other than sports. It's tough to feel like you're making a meaningful impact in the world writing about entertainment. 

He's under contract the next two seasons, at $6.75 million in 2019 and $9 million in 2020. 

Not that it's a personal favorite, but it has to be coney dogs. 

No, it will be the entire body of work, over the past few seasons, with a focus on the most recent. Obviously, when healthy, Ziggy Ansah is still an impact player. But staying healthy has been a major issue. Since the Lions can't rely on his durability, they should move on this offseason.

I looked it up, using charting data from Pro Football Focus, and 45.6 percent of Stafford's throws are between the numbers. Comparing it to three of the more prolific passing attacks in football — New Orleans, Kansas City and Los Angles (Rams) — and Detroit actually throws to the middle of the field the most of the four. 

What the Lions do less than many teams, particularly vertical attacks like the Rams and Chiefs, is attack the deep middle. But given the team's personnel, particularly the lack of a field-stretching slot receiver or tight end, this isn't surprising. 

Laying your hands on a woman, regardless of the situation, is, and should be, a career-killing move for professional athletes. It becomes an easier decision when there's video of the incident. 

The Lions weren't about to break stride with the league and take the public backlash that would come with that decision.

More: Lions, rest of NFL pass on adding Kareem Hunt

It's tough to say what the market will actually look like once we get to March, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Quinn spend again on the offense line, going with a veteran at right guard compared to another rookie. 

Both have been bright spots this season. I noted my impressions of Hand above, listing him as the biggest surprise on defense. Robinson, after being a healthy scratch in Week 1, has been stellar the rest of the year. He's been especially good against the run and the pairing with Harrison seems like something the Lions can build around up front this offseason. 

T.J. Lang's injury issues really set back the group, but I would say there's been slight overall improvement. The team is on pace to give up as many sacks, but Stafford is facing less overall pressure and absorbing fewer hits in 2018. Also, I think we can clearly say there's been improvement in the ground game, with more consistent lanes for the backs.

That said, there's no way we can say the Lions have gotten a return close to matching the investment in the unit. 

ESPN has a playoff machine where you can work out these pipe-dream scenarios, but the Lions would need to win out and essentially have four of the five from Seattle, Washington and Philadelphia, Carolina and Minnesota fall apart.

Dave Birkett at slot receiver, Kyle Meinke at free safety, Nate Atkins would be a fullback, Wojo at guard, Mike Rothstein is punting, Chris Burke has the mind and build to be our Mike linebacker and I'll handle the long snapping because this job and two young kids have taken away all my time to go to the gym. 

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @justin_rogers

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