“Snacks” in the mix: Why Lions fans should love the Damon Harrison trade

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By Trent Balley

Well, the New York Giants have given up on their season.  After drafting running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and extending wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. with a record-breaking deal, the G-Men have fallen flat on their face.

A 1-6 record through Week 7 has the Giants’ locker room all sorts of discombobulated.  As general manager Dave Gettleman attempts to look forward, it’s no secret that a rebuild is in the works.

What better way to go about rebuilding than to trade away an All-Pro defensive lineman for a fifth round draft pick… right?

If you’re a Detroit Lions fan, would it be hyperbole to say that Christmas may have come a little early?  Your team very well could have just gotten away with the steal of the season, pending Amari Cooper’s production with the Dallas Cowboys.  

The Giants sent nose tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison to Detroit in exchange for a 2019 fifth round pick.  The Lions still possess a fifth rounder in this draft, as general manager Bob Quinn obtained one in the 2016 deal that sent offensive guard Laken Tomlinson to the San Francisco 49ers.  Yes, Lions fans, you essentially just swapped Laken Tomlinson for Snacks Harrison. Go crazy.

This marks the latest in a string of transactions by the struggling Giants.  Earlier in the month, offensive tackle Ereck Flowers was released, followed by a trade that sent cornerback Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints for two more future draft picks.  

[su_pullquote align=”right”]Yes, Lions fans, you essentially just swapped Laken Tomlinson for Snacks Harrison. Go crazy.[/su_pullquote]

Stack ‘em up, Giants.  Snack ‘em up, Lions.

Acquiring a player of Harrison’s caliber will put a pep in the step of a sputtering Lions run defense.  The Lions currently are ranked 30th in rushing yards allowed per game at 139.3. These numbers can be attributed in some part to the absence of Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah.  The Pro Bowl defensive end has only appeared in one game, a start in the season opener against the New York Jets at home.

Enter Harrison.  Appearing in all seven games for the Giants in 2018, Harrison has racked up 31 combined tackles and five stuffs up the middle, along with a forced fumble.  Finishing first in the NFL in each of the last five seasons in run stop percentage, he is widely considered one of the best run stoppers in the league.

The Lions have Harrison locked up through the 2020 season and will pay him $20.35 million over that span. It’s a large cap hit, but one that should be well worth it.

Harrison will be joining young gun A’Shawn Robinson in the middle of a defensive line that could use some reinforcements.  Harrison’s presence in the middle will also help take some weight off of middle linebacker Jarrad Davis’ shoulders. It’s also interesting to point out that Harrison will be reunited with two ex-Giants: defensive end Romeo Okwara and outside linebacker Devon Kennard.

This move by Quinn is one that Lions fans should be extremely pleased with.  Poised with a 3-3 record in a tight NFC North, it’s very encouraging to see that moves are being made to combat the Achilles’ heel of this team thus far.  Expect an improved run defense and a retooled rotation as the Lions load up for the division race.