The offensive line was abysmal for Detroit in 2014, and the center positon will really need some quality and depth since longtime Lion Dominic Raiola is gone and second-year man Travis Swanson will be the team's starter. Hudson is Pro Football Focus' top-rated FA C, and if he asks for a nice chunk of change it'd be wise for Detroit to pony up. He played more than 1,000 snaps in 2014 and posted an unbelievable year. At 26, Hudson's youth and production would be invaluable for the even younger Swanson and for the depth of Detroit's center position as a whole.
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Bryan Bulaga (Green Bay, OT)
While center is most in need of improvement, the entire offensive line unit was awful in 2014. Matt Stafford was battered around, and an o-line overhaul is the most effective solution. The center positon in general would be better filled via the draft, as Rodney Hudson is the only big-time free-agent center this March. Bulaga is perhaps the best offensive lineman available this off-season. He was a monsterously productive player in Green Bay when he was healthy. He's worth taking a chance on, and it doesn't hurt that his addition would cost the Packers.
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Chris Culliver (San Francisco, CB)
Culliver is a good young player who improved his play this past season. Culliver would be a perfect fit in Detroit's secondary. He could play alongside Darius Slay, another young corner who made gains from his rookie year. In Teryl Austin's defensive system Culliver could really shine and provide Detroit with another standout DB. Culliver had four interceptions, defensed 15 passes, and forced a fumble (which he returned for a TD) in 2014. No wonder he's Pro Football Focus' third highest-rated FA CB.
Getty ImagesThearon W. Henderson
Justin Forsett (Baltimore, RB)
Forsett has the second-highest rating among free-agent running backs according to PFF. Only DeMarco Murray is rated higher, and while Murray looks for a big payday come March, Forsett may be available at a discount. He's 29, but he's an effective and shifty runner. He had 1,266 rushing yards and eight rushing TDs in 2014, and he's the type of back that could compliment Reggie Bush and Joique Bell very well. Bell has power, Bush has speed and elusiveness, and Forsett has a bit of both. If acquired, Forsett's skillset could help the Lions' maligned running game to become more dynamic and take pressure off the passing game.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY SportsTroy Taormina
Daniel Thomas (Miami, RB)
Thomas, 27, only participated in 218 snaps for the Dolphins in 2014, but he's got the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, a skillset important for running backs in Detroit's offense. Thomas is the perfect combination of youth and ability and shouldn't break the bank in free agency.
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Charles Clay (Miami, TE)
Clay is young and dynamic. He wasn't targeted as heavily in 2014 as he was in 2013, but he still put up good numbers and was a top weapon for Miami QB Ryan Tannehill. Clay is a young option in the passing game and could be a very good weapon for Matt Stafford, who struggled in 2014. Clay's speed is also extremely valuable, and his age means the Lions could look into pairing him up with Eric Ebron for years to come.
Matt Marton-USA TODAY SportsMatt Marton
Owen Daniels (Baltimore, TE)
Daniels, 32, is the definition of a cagey veteran. The nine-year veteran has been there and done that. With 5,144 career receiving yards, 433 career receptions, and 33 career touchdowns, Daniels knows how to get open and move the chains. A veteran like him is a boon in several ways. First of all, he can really help Matt Stafford, providing him with an experienced safety valve whom he can go to in a critical situations. Secondly, he's a known commodity and at his age likely knows he'll have to take what he can get, so Detroit can pay him a respectable but reduced rate. Lastly, his experience would do wonders in helping young Eric Ebron learn the position and, in a few years, to take the reins at tight end.
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY SportsMitch Stringer
Stephen Paea (Chicago, DT)
Paea is the second-higest rated free-agent defensive tackle on PFF's 2015 FA tracker. Only the Lions' own Ndamukong Suh is rated higher, and should Suh bolt, Detroit would need to really roll out the red carpet for Paea. Between Nick Fairley and Suh, one of Detroit's big-time DTs is going to leave town this offseason, so the Lions need to target someone to replicate their impact. Paea is very talented as an interior d-linemanand a guy the Lions should keep an eye on.
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Tyrunn Walker (New Orleans, DT)
Walker, 24, is a young talent at the DT position. He's played just 23 career games since he arrived in the league in 2012. In that time he's generated 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and has 14 tackles, and he's among the top-rated free-agent DTs on PFF. At this position, players like Ndmaukong Suh come once in a lifetime. Should he depart the Motor City, young players like Walker can become dynamic impact players on the interior of the defensive line with the proper instruction. Walker's youth and relative anonymity mean he could also be a real bargain.