Detroit Lions: Analytics show drafting this player will increase wins
The Detroit Lions have a critical decision to make when it comes to their top pick. But according to the analytics, drafting this player will increase their win total.
The Detroit Lions were very active in free agency this offseason, adding several key veterans to their roster to help fill some major voids. And it was all done in an attempt to build upon their disappointing 6-10 record from last year.
But the Lions are far from done when it comes to improving their depth chart. Detroit owns a whopping nine selections in the upcoming NFL draft. But only three of those picks are in the top 100, with their first selection being eighth overall.
The Lions’ first-round pick has the potential to be an immediate impact player. And it’s a critical decision that could have major ramifications this upcoming season. So it’s important that Detroit find the right prospect with that high-selection on Day One.
According to Cynthia Frelund, NFL Network Analytics Expert, adding LSU cornerback Greedy Williams to the roster alongside two-time Pro Bowl defensive back Darius Slay and newly signed defensive end Trey Flowers will add W’s to the Lions’ win column in 2019. Here’s what Frelund said via an analytics-based mock draft that recently appeared on NFL.com.
"“… complementing both Flowers and Slay with [Greedy Williams] drives the biggest win-total increase for the Lions. Williams’ game-measured straight-line speed staying with receivers (which I measured via computer vision) during his time at LSU and the disruption caused by jamming receivers from the line of scrimmage make him a strategic fit.”"
Coming into this offseason, cornerback was a major area of need for the Motor City. And that need only increased when the Lions’ opted to part ways with longtime starting corner Nevin Lawson earlier this year. In an attempt to find a suitable starter to play opposite of Slay, Detroit signed both Justin Coleman and Rashaan Melvin via free agency.
But Coleman is a better slot corner who can be shifted outside if needed. And Melvin only signed a one-year deal after underperforming last season with the Oakland Raiders. Detroit is his seventh NFL team in seven seasons.
That being said, the Detroit Lions are in perfect position to draft someone like Greedy Williams. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Williams has the traits to become an instant starting cornerback in the NFL. With Darius Slay to learn from and Rashaan Melvin as insurance, adding Williams to the depth chart would allow Detroit to play Justin Coleman in the slot. And drafting him with their first-round selection would apparently also increase the win column in Motown as well.