Lions Host Virtual Pre-Draft Meeting With Rising Pass Rusher

Bradlee Anae

Getty Bradlee Anae rushes the passer for Utah.

The Detroit Lions have a major need at pass rusher heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, and one of the most intriguing prospects in this vein could be on their radar.

Recently, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Lions got a pre-draft meeting in with Utah edge player Bradlee Anae. Detroit wasn’t the only team sitting down for a chat with Anae, however. Multiple other teams have been in on him prior to the draft as well in a similar setting.

Anae was one of the better players on a solid Utah defense, and has been mentioned as a potential fit for the Lions up front. Detroit’s defensive line figures to need help in this draft, and Anae is just another player who could provide it for them given what he does well on the field.

Bradlee Anae’s Fit With Lions

Detroit needs some help on the edge, and Anae is an interesting option for the team when it comes to an aggressive player off the edge. The Utah product has put up a solid 29.5 sacks, 131 tackles and 5 forced fumbles in his career and is a hidden gem that could fit Detroit’s scheme perfectly. Is a third round pick a bit too soon for Anae? Possibly, but the Lions have to take a risk to make a big impact, and Anae could do that for the team’s needy pass rush if he is there at the spot, or perhaps sooner.

Anae figures to get his call to the NFL on day 2 of the draft, and the Lions could be a team that makes the most sense to land him. That’s especially true after they were revealed to be getting this pre-draft video meeting.

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. Players like Derrick Brown, Jeffrey Okudah and Isaiah Simmons could also be considered.

Obviously, whomever the pick is, the Lions are going to have to knock every round out of the draft in order to give themselves the best chance at winning in 2020.

If the Lions are not able to get a player early in the draft, grabbing a player like Anae in a later round could be the next best option for the team to remember, and a good contingency plan for the team to remember.

READ NEXT: Analyst Bashes Lions For Potential UDFA Approach

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