The Detroit Lions have a lot of holes to fill on defense going into the 2018 season. Luckily for the Motor City this draft class is loaded with talent.
The Detroit Lions need to amp up their defense before the 2018 season begins. The Motor City has five picks in the 2018 draft and it’s likely at least three of those picks will be used to add necessary pieces to the defensive side of the ball.
Here are four prospects that the Lions could pursue with the 20th overall pick.
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
The University of Michigan’s Maurice Hurst has been a selection in numerous mock drafts as the likely 20th overall pick by the Lions. The 6’2″ 280 pound 22 year-old had a major impact during his final season with the Wolverines. Hurst recorded 5.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, and 59 total tackles during the 2017 season.
The Detroit Lions may need to replace Haloti Ngata, who’s due to become a free-agent this offseason. Hurst could help to fill that hole and have an immediate impact in the Motor City.
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, LB, Oklahoma
The Oklahoma Sooner linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo is a dangerous threat to any opposing quarterback. The 6’1″ 240 pound former Sooner is quick off the edge. During the 2017 season Okoronkwo racked up 8 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, and 75 total tackles – 47 of which were solo tackles.
The Detroit Lions may need to replace Ziggy Ansah after free agency this offseason and Okoronkwo would be a perfect fit.
Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
The Lions have a Pro Bowl cornerback in Darius Slay, but could use another strong option at the position. Former LSU Tiger Donte Jackson could help Detroit to fill that roll. The lightning-fast 20 year-old was LSU’s top corner. Dubbed “The fastest player in college football” recorded 45 total tackles during the 2017 season. During his three-year college career he racked up four total interceptions and 19 passes deflected.
If Detroit decided to bring in Donte Jackson he would get to learn from one of the best cornerbacks in the game in Darius Slay. Detroit would quickly turn into one of the leagues most intimidating secondary’s.
Arden Key, DE, LSU
Another likely target experts have picked to end up in Detroit is LSU’s Arden Key. Key, who was one of the best players in college football during the 2016 season underwent finger surgery that limited him during the 2017 season. The 6’6″ 21 year-old recorded 33 total tackles, 4 sacks, and forced a fumble in eight games played.
Key is a dynamic edge rusher that can bring pressure to any quarterback in the league. The Lions desperately need help in that category seeing as how they face Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers twice a year, one of the leagues most elusive QB’s. Key would be a great addition to the Motor City’s young defense.
With defensive-guru Matt Patricia most likely to be hired as the Detroit Lions next head coach, any young players that general manager Bob Quinn brings in will be in good hands. Once again this year the playoffs proved that a good offense is great – but defense wins brings playoff success and ultimately wins championships. It’s time to make Detroit’s defense great again.