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Draft Decisions

NFL Draft Needs: Lions

by Josh Norris
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential draft-day solutions.

For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

Lions Team Need No. 1: Pass Rusher


Silva’s Analysis


The Lions finished 20th in sacks (35) last season and have no bankable long-term assets at edge rusher. RE Ziggy Ansah is wearing a one-year franchise tag, and contract-year LE Kerry Hyder is coming off a torn Achilles’. After losing DT Haloti Ngata in free agency, Detroit also needs to add an interior disruptor.


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Lions Team Need No. 2: Running Back


Silva’s Analysis


The Lions could probably get by with a Theo Riddick-LeGarrette Blount-Ameer Abdullah threesome, but they lack a back capable of playing on all three downs. Because Riddick and Blount’s presence on the field signals pass or run, they have a tendency to make their offense’s play-calling more predictable.


Lions Team Need No. 3: Tight End


Silva’s Analysis


Similar to running back, the Lions have a lot of bodies at tight end but no premium talent. Luke Willson, Michael Roberts and Levine Toilolo are rotational role players, not long-term solutions. Outside linebacker, left guard, and cornerback are additional question-mark areas on the roster.



Norris’ Mock Draft


Round 1 (20): EDGE Marcus Davenport, UTSA - The Lions added Davenport’s position coach to the staff this offseason (and also hired a former Boston College DC). Therefore, the Lions likely have the best idea of Davenport the prospect and the player he can become. Davenport has all of the tools and deploys a great long arm, yet he’s not a complete player right now. Filling a rotational role early makes sense.

Round 2 (51): RB Ronald Jones, USC - First and foremost, fumbling is not an issue with Jones. I might not be as high on his talent as others, and I’m not naive enough to think my evaluation is the only one that matters. Jones is a big play threat, especially out of a system that allows him to put his foot in the dirt, get upfield and destroy linebacker and defensive back angles.


Round 3 (82): TE Ian Thomas, Indiana - I think rankings and mocks have forced tight ends higher on the board than they will actually be drafted. The ridiculous 2017 class causes that. Thomas is an outstanding athlete and despite not posting big production, he profiles as a quality receiver.


Round 4 (117): LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Western Kentucky - Linebacker depth. I have no idea where Iyiegbuniwe will land after he declared early. At the very least he is a run and chase second level defender.

Round 5 (153): DL Jullian Taylor, Temple - I’m rooting for Taylor. He transformed his body during his collegiate career and now offers unreal athleticism on the interior. He has no idea what he’s doing, but Taylor offers a high ceiling.

Round 7 (237): CB Chris Seisay, Portland State - More corner depth because you can never have enough. Seisay has press experience but can get lost at the catch point during the final part of the route.

Josh Norris

Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for NBC Sports Edge and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .