Lions: Begin remake of interior with Ngata
The marriage between Haloti Ngata’s cap figure and the Baltimore Ravens’ cap space had the look of a rocky relationship this offseason and as free agency opened the Ravens took the cap space and ran, sending Ngata to Detroit for fourth- and fifth-round picks. With the Lions’ top three defensive tackles from a year ago hitting the open market, Ngata will add proven veteran quality to a unit that was in need a complete rebuild.
The Lions have acquired Ngata off the back of a resurgent season in Baltimore where he earned his highest overall grade of the PFF Era after moving back to defensive end having played more nose tackle for the Ravens in 2013. Ngata was productive as well as immovable against the run and earned positive grades as a pass rusher in all but three of his games.
One question mark for Ngata will be the amount of playing time in which he can still be productive. The Lions have to replace 1,697 snaps worth of play at defensive tackle from a year ago and Ngata became more effective by dropping his playing time from the 2012 season playing around 65% of snaps per game this season. Ngata’s versatility and all-around game is a big sell, but the Lions may have to balance his playing time to maximize his production.