Detroit Lions Needs: Pre-Draft
Detroit Lions Pre-Draft Team Needs
After a disappointing 2015 season, where the team failed to make the playoffs, the Detroit Lions hired a new general manager in Bob Quinn. Quinn and the Detroit front office will have to make a statement with the plethora of draft picks the team has in the upcoming NFL Draft. In addition to the normal slate of picks, the team was awarded two compensatory draft picks, including a third rounder for the loss of Ndamukong Suh in free agency. The Lions also have two picks in the fifth and sixth rounds.
1. Offensive Tackle
The Detroit Lions running game ranked dead last in the NFL throughout the 2015 season. Although much of that result could be attributed to the lackluster running back room, the offensive line did not help. Matt Stafford also felt his fair share of pressure during the season. The franchise quarterback was sacked 44 times.
The best way to build an offensive line is through the draft. The Lions are sitting at the 16th overall pick and could be in the running for a top-off-the-line book end tackle. Ohio State’s Taylor Decker and Michigan State’s Jack Conklin would both be great fits in the middle of the first round.
Detroit could also add extra offensive line depth towards the middle to later rounds. Some potential targets there could be, Le'Raven Clark of Texas Tech, Shon Coleman of Auburn and Cole Toner out of Harvard
2. Wide Receiver
The Lions lost one of the NFL’s best wide receiver of the modern era when Calvin Johnson retired suddenly following the 2015 season. Detroit followed up by signing former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones to a massive 5-Year deal. Yet, neither Jones nor Lions receiver Golden Tate have what it takes to be a true number one receiver, so the Lions would be smart to target a player in the upcoming draft to fill the void.
At that 16th spot TCU’s Josh Doctson and Ohio State’s Michael Thomas would be the best value, but the second and third round is deep with receiver talent as well. Ole Miss receiver Laquon Treadwell has fallen down many draft boards for the lack of speed shown during workouts. Also, Baylor leading receiver Corey Coleman would give the Lions a speedy downfield target.
3. Defensive Tackle
The loss of Ndamukong Suh last offseason left the Detroit defensive line with some big shoes to fill. Free agent acquisition Haloti Ngata underwhelmed big time, and may not be with the team next season.
Jarran Reed out of Alabama would be an ideal pick in the first round, as well as rising star Sheldon Rankins from Louisville. This draft is loaded with interior defensive line depth, so the Lions will definitely need to take advantage.
Corey Brewer is a Featured Analyst for Pro Football Spot and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America. For more NFL and NFL draft coverage, follow @BrewerIPA on Twitter.