Why did the Lions trade for a DE last night?
Take a look at this diagram. The Lions are on a 3 years plan, and a competent one. I was critical at first, because I always felt you built from the defense up. But in the pass-happy NFL, you have to build from the QB first. So year 1 they assess their offense and grab their QB. The use "talent fill-ins" on defense, determining their targets.
Year 2: they finalize their offensive based on year 1 weaknesses (Calvin being triple teamed was a big indicator) and fix the TRENCHES. That is right, the priority was the TRENCHES. Solidified LG. Two BIG MASSIVE impact DT. And SITUATIONAL DEs. Speed rushers AND edge containment guys.
2011: The "back 7" will be finalized. Everyone there this year, with the exception of Delmas, is competing for a 2011 job. This includes the CB trades, Peterson, and the new crop of discarded safeties from other teams.
It seems worth stating that the Lions aspire to 8-8 this year. 7-9 will be disappointing, based on their plan. 9-7 would be something to be ecstatic about as it confirms that the moves to date have had a huge impact. But rest assured, the Lions will be interesting instead of the doormat of the NFC North.