Detroit Lions Draft: Round 1 Review, Round 2 Preview

Dec 5, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA;Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jake Coker (14) is chased by Florida Gators linebacker Jarrad Davis (40) during the first quarter in the 2015 SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA;Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jake Coker (14) is chased by Florida Gators linebacker Jarrad Davis (40) during the first quarter in the 2015 SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

Why not Reuben Foster? That was my first reaction too, but then I thought about it. Reuben Foster is a beast and definitely was by far the best player on the board when the Lions picked at number 21. So, when I heard Jarrad Davis‘ name get called, I was a little disappointed. But there is a reason Foster slid all the way down to the 31st pick. If you can’t stay off the weed (diluted urine sample) or you have a bad attitude, then you will never be anything in this league, go ahead and ask Josh Gordon. Bob Quinn made a statement with this pick right here.

First Round:

Jarrad Davis:

With Davis, you will never have to worry about him having any problems. Todd McShay has even gone as far as saying that he is a top-five player in this draft when it comes to his character and the way he carries himself on and off the field. Not only is Davis is a solid guy who loves football, the guy also is a stud athlete. During his pro day, Davis ran a 4.56 40-yard dash, had a 38.5 inch vertical, and had a broad jump of 10 feet 9 inches. Those would be solid numbers for a wide receiver.

But Jarrad Davis isn’t a wide receiver, he is a 6-foot-1, 240-pound thumper. He is going to be the Lions linebacker of the future. Davis is big, strong, and loves to hit, allowing him to immediately help Detroit’s run defense. He’s not afraid of anyone and that shows on tape. Not only is he a nightmare for opposing running backs, he also gives quarterbacks some fits as well. While he isn’t as polished as some in coverage, his athleticism and his drive to get better will help Davis improve in those areas quickly.

Davis has had some injury concerns. During his senior season, he only played in 9 games due to a reoccurring ankle injury. During those 9 games, he racked up 60 tackles, 5 for a loss, 4 pass breakups and 2 sacks. He worked his way back from injury early twice this last year. There are players like Fournette and McCaffrey who sat out of their bowl game junior year, to just make sure that they didn’t get hurt and that they get drafted high. But Jarrad is a leader. He wants to be out there battling with his teammates and while he wasn’t 100% in all of his games, Davis gave it his all. If the Detroit Lions can get the Jarrad Davis from his junior season (94 tackles, 11 for a loss, 3.5 sacks, and 1 interception), then they will have gotten a steal with the 21st pick.

While Davis wasn’t the most talented linebacker on the board, he was the best pick for the Lions at number 21. The Detroit Lions got a natural leader who is an absolute stud, in the biggest position of need with their first-round pick. It’s hard to argue with this pick right here.

Grade: A

Second Round?

Best Available For Detroit:  Dalvin Cook, Zay Jones, Kevin King, Quincy Wilson, Tyus Bowser, Jordan Willis, Zach Cunningham 

I took out Joe Mixon from my list because I feel like the first-round pick from the Detroit Lions showed the NFL that they are done messing around with troubled players. Bob Quinn had the opportunity to take the best linebacker at 21 and he ended up going with a player with better intangibles. I love the culture that Quinn is building here in Detroit.

I’m still standing by what I’ve said throughout this entire draft process, you have to go defense early and often. But if Dalvin Cook or Zay Jones are there at pick number 53. Both of those guys have the ability to take the Lions’ offense to the next level. Cook ran a 4.49 forty, bench pressed 225 pounds twenty-two times, and probably would have been the second running back selected without his injury concerns (shoulders). He is the play-maker that the Lions have been waiting for at running back for years.

Zay Jones is also a play-maker that could take the Lions offense from good to great. He is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound receiver out of East Carolina. This guy had over 4,000 yards and 23 touchdowns in his college career. He did play at a smaller school but not due to his lack of athleticism (4.45 forty and crazy 20 and 60 yard shuttle times). Both Cook and Jones would be great picks for the Detroit Lions.

On the defensive side of the ball, there are plenty of players that Bob Quinn and the Detroit Lions would love to have. Kevin King and Quincy Wilson are on the top of my list for players I want. They are both long, athletic, corners that would pair great with Darius Slay. Taking either one of these players would help the Lions to slow down Aaron Rodgers and Sam Bradford for years to come. Jordan Willis is another guy that would come onto the Lions’ defense and give opposing QBs fits. This year’s Big 12 player of the year absolutely blew up the combine running a 4.53 forty, vertically jumping 39 inches, and also tore up the 3 cone drill and 20 yard shuttle. If he’s there at 53 then he would be an absolute steal.

The Lions did take a linebacker in the 1st round, but if a guy like Zach Cunningham or Tyus Bowers is available when the Lions are picking in the 2nd round, then you have to consider taking them. Both of these guys are big time athletes that excel in coverage. If you can pair either of them with Whitehead and Davis, that would turn linebacker from Detroit’s biggest weakness into on of their strengths. That’s what Bob Quinn did with Detroit’s offensive line and I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to repeat that philosophy taking Cunningham or Bowers in the 2nd round if they are available.

This year’s first round was absolutely insane. Don’t look for teams to be jumping up for QBs anymore, but with all of this talent still on the board, Day 2 could be just as fun as Day 1 was. Let’s see if Bob Quinn and the Detroit Lions can build on a strong start to this year’s NFL draft.

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Next: Why Davis over Foster? Character