Predicting the Detroit Lions’ offseason: Free agency and the draft
By Robert Jones
Even if the Lions are able to make the progress in free agency I outlined, they will still need to make some selections that pay off immediately in the draft.
Now having addressed the defensive tackle issues in free agency, that leaves the first pick in the draft open to another position that can help move the Lions defense towards an elite level; Boston College defensive end Harold Landry.
Texas-San Antonio pass rusher Marcus Davenport, seems like he will almost surely be off the board, but Landry should be there. The reward the Lions would get is an elite pass-rusher who has the ability to play in space as an outside linebacker, yet still put his hand in the turf and play end as well.
Landry is a little on the small size for playing end full time at 6’3″ and 250 lbs, but he is strong and was excellent at setting the edge while at Boston College as well as rushing the passer. His motor and speed would serve him well in a Matt Patricia defense.
From there the Lions should be targeting Rashaad Penny in the second round. Penny did very well at the NFL Combine and has proven himself to be just about as good as any other back in the draft not named Barkley.
That being said, I don’t believe there will be a run on backs in the first round, which leaves the second round as a good place to find one. This also will test the Lions since Penny could very well be gone before their selection at number 51 comes up. If Penny is off the board and let’s be honest he is good enough to be, then there will be another quality back available like possibly Nick Chubb, Royce Freeman or Kalen Ballage, all of which have outstanding potential.