The Detroit Lions are still technically fighting for their lives in terms of the NFL playoff push, but most fans have already been casting a watchful eye toward the offseason and what changes might come.
A part of that is the 2021 NFL Draft, and while the Lions’ struggles on the field have brought some frustration to fans, the team itself could be sitting pretty for yet another high selection in the draft. As it stands now, the Lions are outside the top 10, but a new projection gives them good odds of landing safely within that range when all is said and done.
Recently ESPN’s FPI metric took its first look at how things could be expected to shake out the rest of the way for Detroit. Currently, the Lions are slotted into the No. 9 spot in the 2021 NFL Draft according to the crunching of their numbers.
Which team will get the No. 1 overall pick? 🤔
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) November 10, 2020
In addition to that, the Lions are given a pretty decent 16.9% chance at cracking the top 5 in the draft by season’s end. It might not sound like much now, but it’s notable that the Lions stand out in terms of the numbers as a team that figures to be on the upward move in the coming weeks.
Detroit’s schedule will let up in the coming weeks so with some wins this could go away, but for the moment, folks are betting on the Lions having a bad enough season in order to secure another top pick this season.
Lions Rise Within 2021 NFL Draft Order
Following an ugly Week 9 loss, the Lions continue to motor in the right direction in the draft standings. The Lions, with their 3-5 record, are up to the No. 12 position in the draft and climbing. That’s the silver lining for weary and frustrated fans who have been disappointed by the team’s play.
NFL Draft order currently… pic.twitter.com/xyHAeXCzVZ
— Oregon Recruiting (@duckscrootin) November 9, 2020
Obviously, there’s a long way to go the rest of the season and plenty of time for change, but the Lions continue to be near the top of the draft order after some losing. The goal for the team is to be in playoff contention, but with that not happening, the best that can be done is draft positioning at this point in time.
Detroit’s season is far from over, but as of right now, they are right on the edge of once again being able to secure a solid position in the draft.
Lions 2021 Draft Needs
Regardless of where the team picks, 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. One of the most obvious spots of need would be the defensive line given Detroit’s constant lack of a consistent pass rush to help their defense. The team could also use more young depth at the cornerback spot given the struggles there in relation to depth. On offense, the Lions could use another young wideout, and while they might seem set at quarterback, there could always be a significant challenge to that moving forward given changes in direction of the front office which could lead to a shift at that position.
Detroit will have plenty of big draft decisions to make in the coming months, and the biggest question that will persist revolves around who will be making these picks and who the coach to lead them ends up being.
Currently, many see the selection that they will have being safely within the top 10, and perhaps even a little bit higher if they’re lucky enough.