The first round of the NFL Draft is Thursday at 8pm, and if the experts are to be believed, it’s pretty up in the air as to whom the Detroit Lions will select at number 20 of the first round.
The top of the draft is pretty clear, with quarterbacks Sam Darnold (USC), Josh Rosen (UCLA), Josh Allen (Wyoming), running back Saquon Barkley (Penn State), and defensive end Bradley Chubb (NC State) locked into the top five in some form or fashion in most mock drafts. As the picks fall away, the Lions will have options to go with plenty of needs.
Daniel Jeremiah – Will Hernandez, G – UTEP
Bucky Brooks – Marcus Davenport – DE – UTSA
Charley Casserly – Derrius Guice – RB – LSU
Curtis Conway – Taven Bryan – DT – Florida
Bleacher Report’s Paul Kasabian sides with Brooks, while Kasabian’s colleague at BR, Doug Farrar, agrees with Casserly.
NBC’s Ben Standig opts to go a different route as everyone else. He likes Boston College outside linebacker Harold Landry, saying “The Lions running game is woeful. LSU’s Derrius Guice is available. However, they need more pass rushing help even after keeping Ziggy Ansah. Landry was coached the past two season by Paul Pasqualoni, Detroit’s new defensive coordinator. Decisions, decisions.”
Dan Kadar of SBNation decided to go with a bit of local flair. His choice is Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst. “If Landry or Davenport were available either would be the pick for the Lions. Other than Ezekiel Ansah, Detroit doesn’t have much pass rush. Add to that the fact that this could be Ansah’s last year in Detroit and the Lions have to find a pass rush in this draft. Hurst can provide that from the interior.” wrote Kadar.
Where the Lions go is anyone’s guess, but one thing all the experts agree on is that the pass rush and running back corps need help. General Manager Bob Quinn needs to address both within the first two days of the draft. Quinn will also need to draft quality over quantity, as the Lions are tied for the fewest picks in this year’s draft with 6. They hold picks in the first (20th overall), second (51), third (82), fourth (117), fifth (153), and seventh (237). The Cleveland Browns will be selecting first overall, and also hold the fourth overall pick.
Coverage of the NFL Draft begins at 8pm on Thursday on Jackson ESPN 101.9 and will feature coverage of all seven rounds through Sunday.