As the 2018 NFL Draft quickly approaches, it’s time to lock in your “guys.” Everyone has prospects that they covet more than others. Here are my wants for each round of the NFL draft for the Detroit Lions.
More than likely, an interior lineman or pass rusher will be the best value that also fits a need for the Lions in the first.
- Roquan Smith, OLB, Georgia – He shouldn’t sniff the 20th spot. He is one of the most instinctual and natural football players in the draft.
- Harold Landry, DE, Boston College – A pure pass rusher with elite bend and speed around the corner.
- Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan – The quickest first step and the most disruptive DT in the class.
- Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia – Athletic enough to play left tackle in college. A natural fit at guard and it showed at the Senior Bowl.
- Taven Bryan, DT, Florida – A smaller but very explosive gap shooter that may have the highest ceiling of any DT. Still considered raw.
- Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville – Corner isn’t necessarily a dire need, but his playmaker ability is worth the 20th pick.
OVERRATED: DE Marcus Davenport UTSA, DT Da’Ron Payne Alabama, WR Christian Kirk TAMU
The second round is always a crapshoot on who will be available. More often than not, an unexpected prospect drops into your lap. There should still be a top-tier running back floating around as well which will be difficult to pass up.
- Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia – Possesses everything you look for in a feature back– size, athleticism, and production.
- Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford – Phillips is one of the most productive run-stoppers to come out of the draft in a long time.
- Austin Corbett, OG, Nevada – Falls in line with the profile GM Bob Quinn likes for an interior lineman. A college tackle but better suited at guard at the next level.
- Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State – Maybe not elite in any facet of the game, but is a high effort player with solid measurements.
- Lorenzo Carter, OLB/DE, Georgia – One of the best athletes in the entire draft. Very versatile. Fits the mold of a Matt Patricia type player.
- Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State – An agile big man that makes contested catches look easy. Not a need, but too good to pass up at this point.
OVERRATED: CB Carlton Davis Auburn, RB Ronald Jones USC, FS Jesse Bates III Wake Forest
The draft is deep at running back and defensive tackle. If they don’t land an interior defensive player in the first two rounds, the third round should still have plenty of value.
- Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego St – A great size/speed combination that can make defenders miss in subtle ways. Horrible in pass protection.
- Frank Ragnow, C/OG, Arkansas – Wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up being the best center in the class. Very well-rounded.
- Braden Smith, OG, Auburn – A pretty athletic guard that plays with a mean streak. Short arms but strong.
- Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, EDGE, Oklahoma – An odd prospect in terms of size (6’1″, 242lbs) and position. Just a really good athletic football player.
- Nathan Shepherd, DT, Fort Hays State – From a small school and a bit older for a rookie, but the skill set is there to be a solid DT.
- B.J. Hill, DT, NC State – Another DT that can infiltrate the backfield. Dominated the 1v1s at the Senior Bowl.
OVERRATED: DE Tim Settle Virginia Tech, RB Royce Freeman Oregon, LB Fred Warner BYU
- Trenton Thompson, DT, Georgia – Continuing the trend of disruptive DTs. Only 288-pounds, but has a great first step.
- Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane – Could stand to gain a few pounds, but was a true shutdown corner in college with blazing speed– even for the NFL.
- Genard Avery, LB, Memphis – Played well rushing the passer and at both inside/outside backer. Lived in opponents backfield last year.
- Wyatt Teller, OG, Virginia Tech – Probably would have been drafted quite a bit earlier if he came out last year. A down 2017, but an overall solid collegiate career.
- John Kelly, RB, Tennessee – His best attributes are his balance and relative physicality. Doesn’t exactly have the measurements of a true feature back.
- Kylie Fitts, DE, Utah – The potential is there but durability is a concern. Might be a better athlete than football player at this point.
OVERRATED: DT Derrick Nnadi Florida State, FS Marcus Allen Penn State, DE Hercules Mata’afa Washington State, RB Kalen Ballage Arizona State
LATER ROUNDS (5-7):
- Greg Stroman, CB, Virginia Tech
- Holton Hill, CB, Texas
- Dane Cruikshank, CB/S, Arizona
- Chase Edmonds, RB, Fordham
- Oren Burks, LB, Vanderbilt
- Ja’Whaun Bentley, MLB, Purdue
- Desmond Harrison, OT, West Georgia
- James Looney, DT, Cal
- Richie James, WR, Middle Tennessee St
- Logan Woodside, QB, Toledo
- Tyler Conklin, TE, C. Michigan
- Leon Jacobs, LB, Wisconsin
- Tre Flowers, S, Oklahoma State
- Foye Oluokun, SS/LB, Yale
- Kendall Donnerson, EDGE, SE Missouri