The Detroit Lions will be getting a head start on their draft evaluations with the news that they will be joining the 2020 Senior Bowl as coaches.
Here’s a look at part of the announcement, which explains that it’s been a while since the team has had this coaching assignment:
“The Reese’s Senior Bowl is the nation’s most prestigious college all-star game because it is the only one coached by entire staffs from two National Football League clubs. The participating teams are prioritized based on the NFL draft order with the main caveat being that teams must have a full staff in place, which generally precludes teams with coaching turnover to participate, as was the case this year with the Washington Redskins, who own the No. 2
The last time the Bengals coached the Reese’s Senior Bowl was 2011 under Marvin Lewis and the Lions last participated in 2013 when Jim Schwartz was the head coach.
Coaching in the Reese’s Senior Bowl gives each staff a unique behind-the-scenes look at the players, not only on the field but also in the meeting rooms. This access is invaluable in the evaluation process and it has helped shape many draft classes over the years. The most recent example is this year’s Oakland Raiders, who had eight Reese’s Senior Bowl alums on the active roster or practice squad to end the season.”
As the executive director of the Senior Bowl Jim Nagy said, he believes Matt Patricia will do well in the role.
“The Reese’s Senior Bowl is excited to have the two teams holding the first and third overall picks in this year’s draft coaching our 2020 game. The Bengals selected six players from our game last year and we know how much Coach Taylor values the competitive environment created in Mobile. Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia and I worked together years ago in New England so I know he will do a great job preparing the players for the next level.
The Lions will have some work to do in constructing their staff seeing all the departures that have happened, but overall, they will still have Patricia and Darrell Bevell plus a new defensive staff.
Advantages of Lions Coaching Senior Bowl
As the team has fallen apart late in the year, perhaps stunningly, the Lions’ staff led by Matt Patricia has worked themselves into a potential role for the 2020 Senior Bowl. As the Lions keep climbing the ladder of some of the worst teams in the NFL, their chances of coaching the game managed to keep increasing.
At the time, Nagy pointed out that the Lions could be closing in on the potential to coach the Senior Bowl with some of the teams in front of them coming on and starting to win games.
In order to work themselves into the mix, the Lions managed to keep losing while others around them crumble, and it was mission accomplished by the time the season ended.
As has been explained before, if the Lions did manage to crack the game as coaches, it could provide them with a huge advantage in terms of scouting players and coming up with a game plan for an important 2020 draft.
It’s a draft that the Lions could have plenty of high picks in, which means the team could only stand to benefit from this.
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.
Getting some advanced scouting on the players via the Senior Bowl is now what the Lions have to look forward to.