The Detroit Lions are neck deep in preparing for the NFL draft. Did a defensive tackle prospect just run himself onto their radar? That and more in headlines.
Because of their free-agent additions, the Detroit Lions can afford to go with the best player available with their first-round selection in April’s 2019 NFL Draft. And that player could very well be a defensive lineman who just posted the same 40-time that former cornerback prospect Teez Tabor did back in 2017.
We’ll discuss that along with other Lions-related topics in today’s fresh edition of headlines.
Oliver ran an amazing 4.75 forty at his pro day on Thursday, raising eyebrows and his already lofty draft stock to new heights. Now likely locked as a top-ten selection, the Lions could find themselves with a difficult decision to make on the first night of the draft when their number is called eighth overall.
Detroit already possesses some impressive interior lineman in players like Damon Harrison and A’Shawn Robinson. But there is some speculation that Oliver could play linebacker at that speed. It’s clear you’d find or create a spot for a difference-maker like him. And the Lions could easily decide to draft the best player available over bigger needs in the first round.
Through the first three rounds of the above mock draft, the Lions make fairly predictable selections including edge rusher, cornerback and offensive guard. But their mocked fourth-round pick is a safety, a position Detroit drafted for in the third round of last year’s draft. Although this could become another case of best player available, I believe there are other positions of need that will be addressed before safety.
The Lions’ 2018 second rounder has a real chance to post Detroit’s first 1,000-yard season since Reggie Bush seven years ago. In 10 games last season, Kerryon Johnson posted 64.1 rushing yards per contest. If not for a knee injury that robbed him of six games, the rookie rusher would have hit that milestone with 1,025 yards if he had maintained his average.
But Johnson has a lengthy and vast injury history that dropped him to the second round of last year’s draft. And by missing games during his rookie year, he only reaffirmed those concerns. In response, the Lions will not rely on Johnson as a traditional workhorse back. Instead, expect Detroit to find Kerryon a worthy running partner in the upcoming draft.