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ESPN: Larry Warford, Markus Golden free-agent 'best fits' for Lions

The Detroit News

The Detroit Lions drafted Larry Warford in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. After playing the last three seasons with the New Orleans Saints, could a reunion be in order?

At least one ESPN writer says it makes sense.

Guard Larry Warford was a third-round draft pick by the Lions in 2013.

ESPN posted Tuesday its "best fits" for some of the top NFL remaining free agents, with a few analysts targeting Detroit as a destination for players looking for new homes. That includes Warford, who earned three Pro Bowl appearances in his three seasons in New Orleans, after starting all 57 games in which he played for Detroit from 2013-16.

Warford was cut Friday by the Saints, who drafted former Michigan lineman Cesar Ruiz in the first round of last month's NFL Draft.

"Reuniting with Warford, the Lions' third-round pick in 2013, gives Detroit an upgrade over Joe Dahl or Oday Aboushi," writes Jeremy Fowler, a national NFL writer for ESPN. "It also gives draft pick Jonah Jackson a year to develop."

NFL analyst Matt Bowen, meanwhile, is pairing the Lions with outside linebacker Markus Golden in an effort to beef up Detroit's paltry pass rush from last season. Golden collected 10 sacks last season with the New York Giants, and spending his first four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.

"Detroit drafted Notre Dame outside linebacker Julian Okwara in the third round, but why stop there," Bowen writes. "The Lions are a heavy man-coverage team, and they couldn't get to the quarterback consistently in 2019. Adding Golden gives coach Matt Patricia another edge rusher for which to scheme."

ESPN's analysts also project a new home for former Lions defensive tackles Damon Harrison and Mike Daniels. Harrison was released in February

Bowen has Harrison landing in Tennessee, Fowler has him heading to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and NFL analyst Field Yates has him in Green Bay.

Daniels, who struggled with injuries in his only season in Detroit, is slotted to the Eagles (Bowen), Titans (Fowler) and Panthers (Yates).