On day 19 of Draftmas, the Detroit Lions are on the clock.
Detroit faced their first year without Calvin Johnson and got themselves into the playoffs with a 9-7 record. They ended up losing to the Seahawks in the Wild Card round, but they exceeded expectations.
The offense was below average, scoring 21.6 points per game. While the rush offense was near the bottom of the league, Matt Stafford led the passing offense to be the 11th best in the league. Stafford had one of his best seasons with 4,327 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and a passer rating of 93.3. Marvin Jones and Golden Tate are solid receivers for him, but they could use some depth behind them.
Detroit has a great offensive line going into this season, as they signed Ricky Wagner and T.J. Lang. If there is a weak spot, it’s at left guard.
The defense was average in terms of yards allowed, giving up 3,975 passing yards and 1,701 rushing yards.
In order to improve the defense, the Lions need to get some help on the defensive line. They had just 26 sacks last season, which was second worst in the NFL. Linebackers also need to be addressed, because they don’t have a great one on the roster. D.J. Hayden was signed to help out at corner, but he was signed hoping he can play better than he ever has. If they feel like he has shown in the past, they need more corners.
Picks and Needs
The Lions have eight picks in the 2017 NFL Draft. To get back to the playoffs they will need to get a few impact players.
First round: (1) No. 21
Second round: (1) No. 53
Third round: (1) No. 85
Fourth round: (1) No. 128
Fifth round: (1) No. 165
Sixth round: (2) No. 205, No. 215
Seventh round: (1) No. 250
These needs are in no particular order.
Running Back- Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah are both decent backs who are good at receiving out of the backfield. They could decide to get more of a true runner, due to the great class of backs coming in.
Defensive Line- The interior of the defensive line needs to be improved and an edge guy could be used to provide depth.
Linebacker– There isn’t a great linebacker on the roster and one if not a few need to be taken in this draft.
Cornerback- Darius Slay is a good corner, but more help is needed behind him on the depth chart.
Targets and Thoughts
The picks here are who the Lions could realistically get where they are drafting.
Pick #21: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
Detroit needs linebackers badly and Reddick is changing positions to become one. He was an edge rusher in college, but has looked good in the events leading up to the draft. The Lions will need to work with Reddick, but if they see his potential, they may elect to try and develop him into a good pro.
Pick #53: Chris Wormley, DT/DE, Michigan
Wormley can play defensive tackle or defensive end for the Lions. He will be useful next to A’Shawn Robinson and Ansah. He can stop the run on the early downs and rush the passer on third and long.
Pick #85: Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State
Godwin put on a show at the Rose Bowl and presents good value at pick number 85. He has good speed and creates separation. With improved quarterback play at the NFL level, Godwin can blossom into a star.
The Lions can get back to the playoffs with another great season from Stafford and support from this draft class.
You can read all of the previous days of Draftmas here!
“From Our Haus to Yours”