Lions’ ‘Best-Case’ Draft Scenario Involves Big-Name Prospects

Ja'Marr Chase

Getty Ja'Marr Chase flexes while playing Clemson.

The Detroit Lions are beginning to think about their future moves to help the offseason plan, and quite possibly the biggest involves making a decision on what part of the team to upgrade first.

With limited amounts of money, it’s likely the Lions won’t make a huge free agency splurge barring any major cuts on the horizon. Instead, the team will likely be figuring out who best to target during the draft. With needs on both offense and defense, there’s a temptation to say that either spot is the bigger need for help.

According to Pro Football Focus, the answer is on offense, and specifically at the spot of wide receiver. In a best-case, worst-case scenario post on the site, writer Anthony Treash thinks the best-case is Detroit adding a wideout while the worst-case is the team ignoring that spot to draft defense high.

He wrote:

“Detroit has been home to some of the better wide receiver units over the past few years, but that could come to a screeching halt this offseason. Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola are all slated to hit free agency, and the Lions have only around $6 million in cap space to work with. That can obviously change with some cuts and restructures, but Golladay, a top-tier deep threat and consistent winner in contested scenarios, likely costs too much.

The good news is that there are three incredible wide receiver prospects — Ja’Marr Chase, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle — in the 2021 NFL Draft who could be available for the Lions at the No. 7 overall pick. The bad news is that there is a world in which Detroit passes on one of those wide receivers in favor of repairing a defense that allowed more expected points added per pass play in 2020 than any defense in the past decade. While there are obvious needs within their front seven, making sure Jared Goff has at least some receiving threat is an absolute must for Detroit.”

The Lions will need some major offensive help for the future, and it’s safe to say that the chance to add one of the top wideouts on this list will be intriguing to the team moving forward. Defensively, there isn’t a ton of elite players set to come off the board early in the draft short of potentially Micah Parsons, so the team might be best served to grab the best player available at a spot that is also a major need.

Many in the draft community agree that the Lions simply need to add the most dynamic wideout when all is said and done.

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Lions Still Need Defensive Help

While it might be seen as a worst-case scenario to draft a defender high this season, there is no question that the team still needs to find some help on that side of the ball. Detroit’s pass rush was anemic last season and needs an infusion of talent. Additionally, the team could use some help at linebacker, which could help cover up a lot of deficiencies. Where these additions come from is currently anybody’s guess, but it might not be high in the draft considering the way things could be shaping up this season.

Detroit might be better served to add smartly priced free agents and try to find players outside of the first round to fill their defensive holes.

Wideout Biggest 2021 NFL Draft Need for Lions?

In spite of the definite needs on defense, the team’s biggest problem seemingly lies more on the offensive side of the ball at wideout. With the seventh pick, the Lions should be wide open when it comes to the 2021 draft thanks to the fact that they’ve addressed a ton of spots on both offense and defense recently within their selections and recently traded for Jared Goff. One of the most obvious spots of need would be the defensive line and linebacker given Detroit’s constant lack of a consistent pass rush. The team could also use more young depth at the cornerback spot given the struggles there in relation to depth that have been greatly aided by injury. On offense, the Lions could use another young wideout, which is where this prediction could make sense.

In the mind of some, the Lions need to prioritize the wide receiver spot first and foremost. If they don’t, they could lose the offseason.

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