2015 NFL Draft Reset: Best Players Still Available on Day Two That Fit Detroit Lions


Thursday night, the Detroit Lions scratched a major need off their board in one move, nabbing guard Manny Ramirez in a trade and drafting Laken Tomlinson.

As a result, the offensive line has been effectively reinvigorated, leaving the Lions open to fill other needs confidently on day two of the 2015 NFL Draft, which gets underway on Friday night. Which players still available might interest Detroit at pick 54? Here’s some names to remember.

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1. Eric Rowe, CB, Utah. Don’t expect this rangy, lengthy safety turned cornerback to last long. He’s a speedy prospect who could quietly play a big role for a Detroit team that always needs defensive backs in the NFC North. Jalen Collins (LSU) is also on the board, and is another physical specimen, though character and health questions are swirling about him. Undoubtably, a cornerback of some kind will be on the board for Detroit, but do they view the position as a big enough need to make a selection an early priority?

2. Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State. The cure for those worried about Detroit passing on Malcom Brown could be Goldman, who quietly is a very good product himself. More of a run stuffer in college and someone that could be expected to do the same in the pros, Goldman is starting to slip into an area where he could be considered an excellent value. Also available? Iowa’s Carl Davis, Oklahoma’s Jordan Phillips and Ohio State’s Michael Bennett, all of whom had pre-draft contact with the Lions.

3. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska. Detroit didn’t even get a chance to consider Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon, because they were long gone before pick 23. Fortunately, running back is one of the deepest spots in this draft, meaning Detroit could still hit a home run with the small-but-mighty Abdullah in round two, who’s as good of a pass catcher as he is a between-the-tackles runner. Also likely to be on the board? Jay Ajayi, Tevin Coleman, Duke Johnson and Jeremy Langford. Knowing this, the Lions might not even need to take a runner in round two unless one of these prospects tops their board.

4. T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh. Clemmings had a first round grade in the eyes of many, but slipped out of round one, and as a result, could be a major value for the Lions when they pick. Imagine pairing Clemmings with Tomlinson in what could be the forefront of a powerful young line for years to come. Clemmings is probably below La’el Collins (LSU), but considering the issues of Collins, he might be the next elite tackle available, and Detroit might still be in the market to fix their line once and for all.

5. Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri. Both Green-Beckham and Arizona State’s Jaelen Strong fell out of the first round, and for Green-Beckham, that had plenty to do with character concerns and coaching issues. Still, the raw numbers are hard to ignore. 6-5, 237 pounds with a 40 yard dash completed in 4.4 seconds? Those are numbers that compare favorably to Calvin Johnson. If Detroit pulled a stunner and drafted Green-Beckham to put under the wing of their veteran receiving core, it could be a major development for an offense that struggled at times last year to break out, providing he could be trusted. At this point, though, the issue of trust is the biggest elephant in the room.

Wild Card: Randy Gregory, DE/LB, Nebraska. Just how long will Gregory continue his free-fall, and how long will it be before a team finds enough value to take him? Certainly, this would be a major luxury pick Detroit probably can’t afford at this point, but the thought of Gregory pairing up with the Lions’ already imposing front line as a pass rusher is downright intriguing. It’s doubtful he lasts much longer in round two, but Martin Mayhew has certainly never been shy to add to his stable of pass rushers in the past. Character flaws aside, it’s an interesting thought to remember if Gregory continues his tumble.

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