The Detroit Lions have not had a great run of things lately in terms of their record, but all the losing has brought at least one positive to the mix.
Right now, the Lions odds for a high pick in the draft are only increasing. As of this week, the Lions have climbed the ladder all the way up to 11th spot by virtue of their 3-5-1 record. That might not seem high now, but a few weeks ago, the Lions were much farther down in the standings thanks to their average start to the season.
The goal, obviously, is for the team to not be in the position to jockey for draft positioning at all. For Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia to avoid the heat, they will have to see a serious turnaround in the next few months leading to hope for 2019 and beyond.
Still, at worst, the Lions could be once again in play for a top draft selection if the bottom falls out of the season, which it looks like has a decent chance of happening all things considered.
Recent Lions Draft Results
After a tough 6-10 finish to the 2018 season, Detroit finished with a top 10 pick at No. 8. They were able to snag tight end T.J. Hockenson, who’s been one of the offensive bright spots thus far this season. That proves overall how a painful finish can lead to some better players.
As a whole, Detroit has done a decent job in recent drafts getting talent that can compete on the roster immediately. Last season’s top three picks are playing a major role for the team this season. Names such as Taylor Decker, Kenny Golladay, Jarrad Davis, Graham Glasgow and Tracy Walker are also playing a big role for the team when they are healthy and engaged.
While there have been a few mistakes, Quinn has done a decent job to identify talent with some of the picks he has made thus far during his tenure in the Motor City. Another high pick next year could give him a chance at adding another impact player to the squad.
To Tank or Not to Tank?
The Lions are in an interesting predicament. Matthew Stafford has a painful back injury he’s fighting that might not be as debilitating long term as it initially sounded. As a result, Stafford could return in a few weeks to give the team some much needed juice. Do the Lions still have a shot at the playoffs? With two teams ahead of them in the NFC North and other contenders with better records, the hopes would seemingly on the surface be slim at this point, meaning many will contend the team should decide to tank for the chances of a better draft selection.
Detroit isn’t likely to outwardly give up on their 2019 season with the sole purpose of the 2020 draft, but should the team keep losing, a higher pick is merely another advantage of some short term pain. This coming season, the Lions could use more defensive help most of all in addition to some depth at wide receiver, quarterback, running back and along the offensive line.
As it stands today, Detroit has seven picks in the 2020 draft. They added an extra fifth round selection after dealing Quandre Diggs this past trade deadline. Detroit traded a 2020 seventh round pick for Eli Harold entering the 2018 season.
While many things can and will change, for now, Detroit’s own selections are trending to be on the higher side for next year.