In our second post free agency mock for the 2019 NFL Draft, we attempt to identify prospects that the Detroit Lions might pick in the league’s annual selection event in April.
With the major free agency moves in the books for the Detroit Lions, the focus now shifts to April’s draft in Nashville, TN. Some serious holes were filled on both sides of the ball by general manager Bob Quinn. Yet, for the Lions to crawl out of the NFC North cellar, they will need to hit on the majority of their nine picks and find players that can contribute early.
Taking into consideration their latest additions, as well as remaining roster needs, here is our latest mock draft as we look forward to college prospects who could join the Lions heading into the 2019 season.
2019 NFL Draft: First Round, Eighth Overall
The Detroit Lions select …
Pick Analysis: As it stands, the Lions’ defensive line is the unquestioned strength of the team. The addition of edge defender Trey Flowers, with a similar profile to Oliver, may make this selection seem redundant. However, with at least two quarterbacks and several other marquee prospects likely to be selected ahead of the Lions at number eight, a talent like Oliver may simply be too alluring to pass up if he’s available.
Oliver had a slightly disappointing 2018 season at Houston, including a baffling sideline spat with head coach Major Applewhite. However, his explosive versatility would give the Lions one of the most fearsome, interchangeable defensive fronts in the NFL.
He’s a relentless, penetrating player, specializing in spending extended time in the opposition’s backfield. He totaled over 50 tackles for loss over the past three seasons as a Cougar. Can you picture facing a front line with Flowers, Damon Harrison, Da’Shawn Hand and Oliver?
Oliver’s weight, and whether he adds to it or sheds it could be a key factor in determining where he fits. Should he add 8-10 pounds, he could be a surefire interior three technique. Should his weight drop some, he could split to a outside role, spending the majority of his time on the edge, or even see snaps as a linebacker.
Regardless, adding Oliver at this spot, when many had him pegged as a possible number one overall pick earlier in the college season, could end up being a defining move for Bob Quinn. While he may never be a double digit sack producer, he would be yet another disruptive front-line player, capable of propelling the Lions’ defense to new heights.