Detroit Lions headlines: Tough playoff path, first round linebacker again?

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 16: Tony Brooks-James
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 16: Tony Brooks-James /
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The Detroit Lions have a tough path to the playoffs in 2018. And will they draft a linebacker in the first round again? That and more in today’s headlines!

On the day that offseason workouts officially start for the Detroit Lions, there are plenty of topics swirling around the Pride. First and foremost, the upcoming NFL draft.

After selecting Jarrad Davis last year, what are the chances the Lions draft another linebacker in the first round? Pretty good if you listen to one football analytic website. And they have the perfect candidate.

Then, why does Matt Patricia face a huge uphill battle to make it to the playoffs in his first season as head coach of the Lions? Well discuss those topics and more in today’s edition of headlines.

Which new NFL head coach has most difficult path to playoffs? – NFL.com

In the above video, Peter Schrager selected Matt Patricia as the NFL head coach with the most difficult path to the playoffs. And he may be right based on the Lions upcoming schedule of opponents that include teams like Carolina Panthers, the Los Angeles Rams and Patricia’s old stomping grounds, the New England Patroits. That’s not even including the Lions’ improved divisional foes that they’ll face twice next season.

Top prospect fits for 2018 NFL Draft linebackers – Pro Football Focus

Last season, the Lions drafted Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis 21st overall. Could they do the same in 2018? According to Pro Football Focus, the answer is a solid yes. And that prospect could be Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. It certainly make sense based on Detroit wanting to play some 3-4 this season.

T.J. Jones signs tender with Lions – Pro Football Talk

One area the Lions may not address during the draft is wide receiver. With T.J. Jones signing his tender, it gives Detroit four quality wide outs on their current roster. The one question is Golden Tate, who is in the final year of his current contract. Will Detroit give the 29-year old an extension this offseason? If they’ve decided to move on, the Lions could look for a receiver late in the draft.

O’HARA: It’s an exciting time for Patricia, Lions – DetroitLions.com

It’s the honeymoon period for Patricia and the Lions. Before a single regular season snap has been made. Before a single point has been scored. Everything seems possible. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Next: Lions NFL draft 3.0: 7-rounds, beyond the mock

Filling leadership void, Kerry Hyder’s progress important as Lions start spring – ESPN.com

The point here is the Lions need their veterans to step into leadership roles following their free agency exodus and the influx of new coaches and players. Someone always does. As for Hyder, Detroit will be looking for him to regain the form that made him the team’s sack leader in 2016. If he does, that could allow the team to move on from Ziggy Ansah next offseason.