After a 6-10 season Head Coach Matt Patricia and General Manager Bob Quinn are in a must hit on draft pick situation. After a very successful free agency the Lions are looking to build a team that is contending for the NFC North and The NFC. This will be Quinns fourth draft in Detroit, his last three first round picks were Taylor Decker, Jarrad Davis, and Frank Ragnow. All three of those selections came at the middle of the draft, but this year the Lions have themselves a top ten selection. The biggest story lines in the Draft this year are who will the Cardinals select with the number one pick, what teams will trade up for a QB, and that this is the best defensive heavy draft in years.
Dream Draft Pick
There are three players that would be a dream draft pick for the Lions. I expect all three of these players to be selected in the top five picks but if they were to fall it would be dream come true for the Lions. The top choice is a ready made pass rusher who is still in conversation to be the number one pick, from Ohio Sate Nick Bosa. Bosa is much like his brother from a skills stand point, but may have more hype than his brother did. Nick had 29 sacks in 29 games in college. He is a very special talent and if he were to some how fall to the eighth pick it would be a miracle. The next player that would be a dream come true is an absolute beast in the middle of the defensive line and that is Alabama’s Quinnen Williams. I believe Williams will be picked between two and four in the draft but some mock drafts have had him fall a little bit farther than that. Williams played two seasons at Alabama after redshirting his freshman year Williams made an instant impact, especially last year when he recorded 19.5 tackles for loss. Joining Bosa and Williams as dream scenarios is Kentucky’s edge rush specialist Josh Allen. Allen my personal favorite in the draft, reminds me of Von Miller in a lot of ways. Allen exploded on to the scene in the SEC last year when he recorded 17.5 sacks. It would be a very big surprise to see any of these three available at eight, so most likely if the Lions were to land one of them they would need to trade up.
Not At 8
General Manager Bob Quinn has stated previously that he is open to trading back in the draft, these are some players and positions the Lions should not select at the eight pick. First and foremost they absolutely should not draft any quarterback. There are some good QBs this year for sure but the Lions have their franchise QB in Matthew Stafford and he isn’t going anywhere. The next position is the offensive line, this year class of O lineman is not that impressive. Florida’s Jawaan Taylor and Alabama’s Jonah Williams are the top two rated O lineman but neither is deserving of being a top ten pick, and they definitely don’t belong in Detroit. While Iowa’s TJ Hockenson is a phenomenal tight end, the tight end class is very deep and the Lions don’t need to take a chance on tight end in the top ten again. Florida States Brian Burns would be a reach at eight as well as Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell, but if the Lions were to move back they both could be viable options. Another position the Lions should stay away from at the eighth pick is Corner Back, Byron Murphy of Washington and Greedy Williams of LSU, are both good but not top ten good. And the biggest name the Lions should not pick is Michigan’s Rashan Gary, Gary is an unbelievable talent from a speed and stand point but lacks natural pass rush skills needed for the NFL. Now yes he can develop to be a pass rusher but with Matt Patricia’s defense in Detroit Gary is not an ideal fit.
Who They Should Pick
The Lions have lots of options at the eight pick, but to me there are three players who are the right players to hear their name called to Detroit. First is Mississippi States edge rusher Montez Sweat. Sweat had 30 sacks in his last two seasons, and he put on a show at the NFL combine, with his outstanding 4.41 40 yard dash. After Sweat there is a dominant linebacker out of LSU named Devin White. White is a tackle machine as he had over 120 tackles both of the last two seasons, including a total of 25 tackles for loss. White flies from sideline to sideline and is a great leader. Joining Sweat and White, last but certainly not least is Houston’s defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Oliver was a highly recruited player out of high school and transitioned the expectations to college. In three seasons at Houston he had 53 tackles for loss and that was when he was being used wrongly. Houston had Oliver as a nose tackle rather than a normal defensive tackle, that position caused him to face double teams every single snap he played. In the NFL Oliver will have a much bigger impact as a DT and he has drawn some comparisons to Aaron Donald, which is very high praise. Hopefully the Lions select one of these three players, unless one of the dream players were to some how fall.