Lions Rise Into a Top NFL Draft Selection Following Loss

T.J. Hockenson Roger Goodell

Getty T.J. Hockenson greets Roger Goodell after being picked by the Lions.

Though the Detroit Lions‘ recent slide in the standings has frustrated their fans, it has also helped their upward mobility in terms of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Following Detroit’s frustrating defeat at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys, the Lions have surged upward into the top 10 of the draft order. This week, the Lions hold down the No. 10 spot in the 2020 NFL Draft by virtue of their 3-6-1 record. Here’s a look at how things shake out after Week 11:

Just ahead of Detroit in the standings? The Arizona Cardinals, whom Detroit tied with earlier this season, the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos. Just behind Detroit are the Los Angeles Chargers, whom Detroit beat. Ironically, the Lions will play the Broncos, Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers later this season, so the chance exists for the order to change dramatically from Detroit’s perspective in the weeks and months ahead.

For now, though, the Lions keep climbing the ladder. If there is any bright side to all the losing, it has to be that for the Lions.

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.

Should Lions Tank to Finish 2019?

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, even though he probably shouldn’t. Do the Lions still have a shot at the playoffs? With three 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 even if it makes sense, 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, and now are within the top 10 for the moment.

READ NEXT: Examining Lions Biggest Needs for 2020 NFL Draft

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