Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
A Slight Change Up
Originally, I had this simply as defensive end. Jason Jones, aside from a monster performance against Minnesota, hasn’t been a strong presence at defensive end and has indeed been out-shined by former UDFA George Johnson. His contract makes him a possible cap casualty in 2015, which would leave Ziggy Ansah and little else behind him. 4th round picks Devin Taylor and Larry Webster haven’t shown much in their development.
While it’s true that Coach Caldwell has been glowing about Larry Webster lately, I’m not one to hinge my starting position on a guy that isn’t even active on game day. Instead, I’m looking to upgrade the Lions ability at pass rusher, and that’s where this Detroit Lions draft need comes from.
First time defensive coordinator, Teryl Austin, has shown a willingness and ability to get creative with how he brings pressure, which opens up what the Lions may target in the early rounds of the draft. The only impressive defensive ends, Shane Ray, Alvin Dupree, and Randy Gregory, will be long gone by the time the Lions pick in the first round. There isn’t really a whole lot to be excited with behind those three.
Instead, I think the team goes a different route, pulling in another linebacker that can be used as a pass rusher. A player like Nate Orchard at defensive end, who doesn’t fit the traditional “Mayhew mold” of D ends, or a hybrid linebacker/end like Hau’Oli Kikaha of Washington would be a strong pick for this team.
Both would offer their own unique skill-sets that Teryl Austin could use to pair with Ziggy Ansah on the other side to keep the Free Hurt Defense causing some of that free hurt.
Next: A Perennial Draft Need