The Detroit Lions have some big decisions to make in the 2020 NFL Draft, and now that the position they will pick has been set, some things are coming into focus in terms of what teams will be doing when the time comes.
To that end, an interesting look at the draft thus far was presented by Matt Miller of Bleacher Report. Miller broke down every single team and where they stand now and could stand moving forward in a piece, and when it came to the Lions, there were a few interesting suggestions.
According to Miller, the Lions are a bit of an open book when it comes to the No. 3 pick in the draft. There’s a few names they will consider near the top of the draft, but the team could also be ripe for a trade down given other teams could be intrigued by the quarterback spot.
“The draft starts at No. 3 overall. Sources around the league are projecting the Lions to look heavily at Jeff Okudah (CB, Ohio State) and Derrick Brown (DL, Auburn) but also point to the team being a strong trade-back spot for teams like the Dolphins, Chargers and Panthers, who could be trying to come up for a quarterback.”
How much of this ends up being the case will depend on the health of Tua Tagovailoa and the performance of other prospects such as Justin Herbert, Jake Fromm and others. With six selections in the draft, the Lions could be looking to add more in order to stock up the poor depth of their roster.
Early on, it sounds as if the mantra for the team could be either selecting the best prospect for defense or trading the pick for a potential haul.
Lions Biggest 2020 NFL Draft Need is Defensive End
Detroit cannot pressure the quarterback meaningfully in 2019, something that has been painfully obvious for weeks and that is a glaring problem given what the team has done to add to the front in recent months and years. Part of the problem has been injury, but beyond Trey Flowers and Da’Shawn Hand, the Lions simply don’t have any young building blocks they can count on right now. The team has to find some form of consistency in the trenches, and that is why it’s a major need for them moving forward.
If the draft were held today, the Lions would have to target some type of defensive end or pass rush specialist highly, and Chase Young would be the top option if he were there. Without a few impact players here in 2020, it’s tough to imagine the Lions turning their defensive fortunes around.
In the event Young wasn’t on the board, the Lions would likely be content to grab Okudah. While defensive end is the biggest need on the team, cornerback isn’t far behind. Detroit’s backfield has been searching in vain for another top flight cornerback for some time, and Okudah could give them just the right mix at the spot. Brown figures to get in the mix as well.
Whether Okudah, Young or someone else, the Lions could be looking to score with defenders this year. With Brown, they could get a top SEC player. Either way, defense could be on the menu most of all.
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, Bob 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.
That will be true whether the team sticks at the spot or deals the pick away via trade.