The Detroit Lions have spent some money this offseason, but the team remains in fairly good shape as they push toward the 2020 NFL Draft.
While many teams are in salary cap trouble or don’t have as much money heading into the draft, the Lions managed to maintain the second highest cap total to this point in the NFL. As ESPN’s Field Yates tweeted, the Lions are currently under the cap by a total of $29,488,200.
That total is second only to the Browns, and the good news is the Lions not only have plenty of money left to sign their draft class, but do a little shopping afterward or during the draft if they so desire. If the team isn’t able to address a position such as defensive line, theoretically, they could still make a deal for a player like a Yannick Ngakoue, Matt Judon or Jadeveon Clowney if they so choose. While such a deal isn’t likely, the Lions have managed to leave enough money that the potential exists for it to happen.
Over the Cap estimates the Lions will need around $12,871,035 to sign their 2020 draft class, which would leave the Lions with around $16,617,165 to spend the rest of the offseason. At this point, they are in very good shape.
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 during the past season 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.
Early in the draft as a result of this, 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 Jeff 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. Defensive tackle Derrick Brown and linebacker Isaiah Simmons figure to get in the mix as well.
Whether Okudah, Young, Brown or Simmons the Lions could score with most defenders they would look at given the needs of their team. As a result of this, defense could be on the menu most of all, and offense could be chosen for later upgrades.
Lions Have Multiple 2020 Draft Picks
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. Adding more picks could give the team more crack in order to have a better chance at a bigger draft.
No matter what happens, the Lions will have plenty of money with which to operate during this draft.
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