Detroit Lions: The draft is always predicated on free agency
By Robert Jones
The Lions could also go another route and trade to fill a need like acquiring cornerback Patrick Peterson. This would, of course, give them the much-needed bookends on the outside which would make life much more difficult for opposing offenses.
Petersen does have some mileage on him and the fact that it seems like he is begging to get out of Arizona could also help make his price tag reasonable. If the Lions could package a 3rd round pick for him, that would be acceptable.
If not, then expect the Lions to go for a corner in the second round, if they don’t trade down with their first pick. That would probably mean getting someone like Kris Boyd of Texas or Amani Oruwariye of Penn State.
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These scenarios so far would also mean the bare minimum of needs defensively would be filled.
On offense, don’t be surprised if they re-negotiate a new deal with guard T.J. Lang. He is still a valued leader and possibly their best O-lineman. Not to mention he has been vocal about wanting to return and being willing to re-negotiate his contract. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to address the position further.
Tyrell Crosby played well in limited minutes this season and mostly at tackle, but he certainly could be plugged in at guard too. Especially since both Taylor Decker and Rick Wagner aren’t going anywhere.
But we should still expect the Lions to maybe find another body in free agency or the draft. Maybe Jamon Brown of the Giants, D.J. Fluker of the Seahawks or Quinton Spain of the Titans. None of them will set the world on fire, but they are all serviceable if needed.
My preference, however, would be the draft. Someone like Chris Lindstrom of Boston College, Eric McCoy of Texas A&M or Michael Jordan from Ohio State in the third round.
Tight end is a tricky one. There are few free agents I would be interested in because I tend to prefer and look for younger talent as opposed to veterans that have been around awhile. This is born out in my other free agency possibilities.
However, Jesse James of the Steelers would be a nice get. He’s already a good blocker and has upside as a receiver. That being said, the draft would probably be my preference here. Depending on how other needs are filled or possibly trading down play out, T.J. Hockenson would be an excellent pick in the second round if he’s available. I also wouldn’t mind Caleb Wilson of UCLA or Kaden Smith of Stanford in the third round.
Which narrows the basic needs down to another receiver and a running back for depth.