The Detroit Lions have done plenty of heavy lifting this offseason, but what does that mean as it relates to the 2020 NFL Draft?
Detroit has traded away a pick, but also acquired a few selections within their move to trade Darius Slay. Now that the Lions have those picks, and have gained a selection in their deal for Duron Harmon, the Lions are now up to 9 selections for this year’s draft, including an extra third rounder.
The Lions got back a seventh round selection in the Harmon trade, but did deal away a fifth round pick. They got back a fifth round selection in the move to trade for Slay.
This could merely be a start for the Lions, however. If the team is able to trade back from the No. 3 selection, this haul might only improve in the future.
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 gives him a chance at adding another impact player to the squad.
The Lions will now have plenty of shots to take in the 2020 draft with this high number of picks.
Lions Biggest 2020 NFL Draft Need is Defensive End
Detroit could not pressure the quarterback meaningfully in 2019, something that was 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. He’s not likely to be on the board when the team picks, meaning Isaiah Simmons could be an interesting option. 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 Jeffrey 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, especially now without Slay.
Obviously, the Lions have plenty of picks with which to work now.
READ NEXT: Lions Reach Blockbuster Darius Slay Trade