The NFL Draft is happening. The Lions will be drafting players. Detroit continued the offensive line overhaul in free agency. In the draft, their attention turns to defense, where they have holes in all three phases.
Round 1: No. 21 Overall [Taco Charlton DE – Michigan]
The Lions have some options. They could move up. Reuben Foster or Haason Reddick would fill the glaring need for a pulse at linebacker. Perhaps O.J. Howard or someone else graded highly starts to fall. They could move down. The players they could get at positions of need at 21 are comparable to those later in the first round. Detroit is building from the lines outward under Bob Quinn. Charlton fills a major position of need. Peppers, if still available, would be intriguing, but the needs are too acute.
Round 2: No. 53 Overall [Tyus Bowser LB – Houston]
The Lions need a starter at linebacker. If they’re not getting that at No. 1, they pretty much have to go there with the No. 2 pick. There’s been a lot of buzz about Bowser. But, it’s possible he falls this far if there’s a run on defensive backs in the second round.
Round 3: No. 85 Overall [Tim Williams LB – Alabama]
Looked like he was a better prospect last year. Detroit still needs speed, pass rushing, and depth at linebacker. Even if Williams is only a situational guy in passing downs, the Lions need someone who can do that. His dreaded “character concerns” may cause him to fall further than he should.
Round 4: No. 127 Overall [K.D. Cannon WR – Baylor]
Cannon has weaknesses. He has things he needs to improve on. So does everyone picked in the fourth round. The Lions need an auxiliary wideout who can go route one vertically and stretch the field. Cannon fits that bill.
Round 5: No. 165 Overall [Charles Walker DT – Oklahoma]
The Lions could still use some defensive line depth. Walker can be a 3-tech or a 5-tech in different looks. Versatility plus some upside gets you on an NFL roster.
Round 6: No. 205 Overall [T.J. Logan RB – North Carolina]
You’re looking for a guy who could make a roster at this point. Logan ran a sub 4.4 40-yard-dash at the combine. The upside is he’s a change of pace back and an option at kick returner.
Round 7: No. 250 Overall [Cooper Rush QB – Central Michigan]
There has been some speculation the Lions would take a developmental quarterback. Rush should be able to grasp the offense and make the right reads. Future NFL starter may be pushing it. But, with better training and technique, he may develop some arm strength.