By draft standards, the Detroit Lions had a perfect afternoon on Sunday even though they lost another game.
With a 27-17 loss to the Denver Broncos and plenty of help around them from the NFC East and AFC East, the Lions managed to surge all the way up to the No. 3 position in the draft.
Here’s a look at the standings as of where things are at the conclusion of the important games in Week 16:
Detroit got overtime wins from the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins in order to help themselves the most, including their own loss. Both of the games were nearly losses, but this might be the first time something goes right for the Lions.
Next week, in order to move up to the No. 2 selection in the draft, a spot that the coveted Chase Young could occupy, the Lions need to see the Washington Redskins beat the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17, while losing themselves. That could lock up the spot, as improbable as it seems.
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 Keep Tanking 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, this week, the biggest mover forward was Detroit.