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The Detroit Lions have mostly played it safe in the 2015 NFL Draft, selecting an interior offensive lineman, Laken Tomlinson, in the 1st round on day one and then selecting Ameer Abdullah, a RB and Alex Carter, a corner on day 2. The only risk out of their three picks thus far lies with 2nd round pick Ameer Abdullah’s ball control problems. This isn’t the “swing for the fences” type of draft that some were expecting, but instead a calculated set of maneuvers towards whatever plan Martin Mayhew has. Not one of the Lions picks were expected, so what can we look for in the final day of the draft?
Trades! Mayhew traded down in the 1st round to acquire a 5th round pick he would later use to
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trade up in the 3rd round. Clearly the man has no qualms about dealing.
- 4th Round? With no 4th round pick due to the Haloti Ngata trade, it’s possible Martin Mayhew will use the team’s 2016 3rd round pick to make a pick in the round anyway. He has said before that having a 3rd round comp pick in 2016 would affect 2013, is this how?
- Brandon Pettigrew? After signing a poorly received 4 year deal in 2014, Pettigrew would spend the season as an unproductive receiving option and declining blocker. The Ravens have expressed interest and today is when compensation might match.
- Bill Bentley? Bentley was selected with Jim Schwartz’ primarily off zone based defense in mind and whenever he was healthy it was a role he was good in. Injury struck again in 2014, but with Alex Carter‘s selection he might be on the way out. Can they get anything back?
- Devin Taylor? The 3rd year defensive end exceeded expectations as a rookie in Schwartz’s system, but fell flat in Teryl Austin’s. With the selection of Larry Webster and retention of Jason Jones, this might be a buy low moment for teams that like him.
Approach: Martin Mayhew has almost exclusively taken a “Best Player Available” approach in the first two rounds, with a needs based approach in the middle rounds before shooting for upside or ST ability late.
- Day 3 and the Lions still haven’t selected a defensive tackle? Mel Kiper’s hair is already glaring judgingly. With little depth at the position, this is one I expect to be addressed early in the day, possibly by trading back into the 4th.
- Kick Returner is still a need. Sure, the Lions have Golden Tate and just selected Ameer Abdullah, but Abdullah wasn’t a full-time returner and was only good, not great there.
- A position many Lions fans will scream about if they pick, tight end should be addressed today. Not for receiving duties, but for blocking, the only area this draft is strong at in regards to tight ends.
- Fullback is another position the team should look to fill today. With only Emil Igwanegu on the roster, the team lacks any really proven talent at the position and would like to protect their recent investment in the running game.
- Quarterback. The Lions still lack a true backup QB that can be relied upon game day. They seem committed to Kellen Moore overtaking Dan 0rlovsky, but it’s possible they bring in someone else to compete. It’s a weak class, so I’m not banking on it, but possible.
Something Completely Unexpected
- Last season, the Lions spent a 4th round pick on a D3 defensive end prospect that was on most boards as a tight end (Larry Webster). They then picked an Ivy League defensive tackle that didn’t fit their normal athletic profile (Caraun Reid). Neither pick has panned out yet, but both were huge risks.
- Despite their adherence to a strict character profile, La’El Collins remains an intriguing prospect and the Lions may steal him away before someone else gets a chance.
- Fans will probably start throwing things, but a Kicker isn’t out of the question. Despite locking up Matt Prater, the team still tried out Kyle Brindza (Though he didn’t count as an official visit). I doubt it happens, but stranger things have happened.
What do YOU think happens today? Let us know in the comments what you expect or hope to see on the third and final day of the 2015 NFL Draft!