There are a bounty of prospects in the 2020 National Championship game that could interest the Detroit Lions, but lets focus on one player from each team.
The Detroit Lions pick third overall in the 2020 NFL Draft this year and will have plenty of options at their disposal once they are on the clock. They could pick one of any number of impact players at third overall, but could also opt to trade down in the draft.
They also will have a very early pick at the top of each round which means they should be able to take advantage of value falling in the draft. With deep cornerback, wide receiver, and offensive tackle draft classes, the Lions could easily find value in multiple spots throughout the draft this year.
And in this year’s college football National Championship, a match-up between the LSU Tigers and Clemson Tigers. Both teams have absurd talent at the positions all over the field, especially on offense. The two teams each have an absurd talent at the quarterback position, while Clemson has an electric running back in Travis Ettiene and LSU has a dependent, though underrated back in Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
The two teams also have ridiculously loaded receiver corps. Both offensive lines are very good as well. Clemson has a better defense, and could have the edge there, though LSU has been much better on defense the past few games.
There are a couple of college prospects on the defensive side of the ball that I think Lions fans should be paying close attention to on each team. For LSU, I believe that we should pay attention to edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson who has had a very nice season and had a big impact in the Oklahoma game.
In the Oklahoma game alone Chaisson showed up big time accruing two sacks and six total tackles, all solos. On the season he totaled 58 tackles, 6.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and two passes defensed. Despite the single digit sack totals, he would constantly be providing pressure on the quarterback and would provide his opponents with nightmares on more than one occasion.
Chaisson would most likely slot in as a JACK linebacker in the Lions defensive system, but would also be able to play as a down defensive end opposite defensive end Trey Flowers. While current JACK starter Devon Kennard has played admirably while with the Lions, adding Chaisson would give the Lions another guy who can get after the linebacker and even cover some guys decently.
Drafting him gives the Lions an edge rusher that would provide a quick first step and great speed off the edge. He would also let the Lions finally roster a linebacker with the ability to cover offensive players in both man and zone coverage.
Chaisson wouldn’t be the end to the pass rush concerns this team has but he would add quality depth and he would provide quite an impact his rookie season. Chaisson would likely start out the year as a reserve JACK (probably second on the depth chart), but would not be surprised to see him end his rookie season as the starting JACK linebacker.
For Clemson, the player to watch is linebacker/safety hybrid Isaiah Simmons. His ability to play at least two positions, if not more, will probably intrigue head coach Matt Patricia. Ignoring that alone about his abilities, there is also the fact that he is an outstanding football player with blazing speed and great athletic ability.
He has been a major player the last two years and even made an impact in just his second year. In his senior season he racked up 97 total tackles, six sacks, one forced and recovered fumble, three interceptions, and six passes defensed. Simmons would give the Lions a player in the middle of the field that could provide a linebacker that can cover almost anyone in space, rush the quarterback with solid success, and be a force in the run game.
Simmons would provide the Lions with a true three down player in the middle of the field. He is an asset in both defending the run and in defending against the pass. His athletic ability will be a big point for Patricia in contemplating selecting him, not to mention his amazing speed for a guy who doesn’t have a solidified position.
Simmons would step in and start on the defense from day one, but would likely move around from the MIKE backer opposite linebacker Jarrad Davis to strong safety opposite free safety Tracy Walker. In the Lions scheme and coached up by Patricia I’m sure Simmons would excel in his role and provide Motor City with a early defensive rookie of the year candidate and an immediate impact player.
The Lions would have to select Simmons with their third overall pick as there is no way he falls to the second round. They could try trading down and then selecting him with the new, later pick, but that pick would probably need to still be in the top ten as I don’t see Simmons falling past that.
If the Lions want Chaisson then they could take a corner, receiver, or lineman in the first but would have to draft him with their second round pick as it is very unlikely, almost impossible even, that he falls to their third round pick.
Both of these players would provide the Lions with an immediate impact defender and very possibly give them a defensive rookie of the year candidate. Drafting Simmons gives them the more versatile player and the player more likely to have a big impact, but would be more costly as he would require a top ten pick. Drafting Chaisson would give the Lions less of an impact player but would not cost as much and would give the Lions the opportunity to draft another player at another position in the first round.
Which one would you rather draft, all things considered? And what other player will you be watching come game time when LSU and Clemson suit up? Drop your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below and tell us who you’d prefer and who else you’ll be watching.