Detroit Lions defensive line help
The point of this article isn’t to say that the Detroit Lions can go after a guy who’s rated as a first-round pick unanimously. What we’re trying to find are players that aren’t so obvious or that the Lions could target with later picks. The full list of picks is here on the Tankathon website.
Assuming for the time being that the Detroit Lions make no trades that affect their draft picks, what might vice president-general manager Bob Quinn do with picks 35, 67, 99, 131, 155, and163? Pick three of Round One seems to already have a whole bunch possibilities with big names attached like Jeffrey Okudah, Derrick Brown, and Chase Young.
Lots of people also have the Lions trading back with teams looking for a quarterback, like the Miami Dolphins who could look to draft Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert.
Regardless of what Quinn does in round one, the Lions linebackers and pass rush need major upgrades even if end Da’Shawn Hand and others recover and are 100 percent healthy going into 2020. One player that has been seen getting attention from head coach Matt Patricia during open Senior Bowl practices is Jason Strowbridge.
Jason Strowbridge, DE, North Carolina, 6-4, 267, 4.86
According to reports the newly svelte edge rusher and former Tarheels lineman has looked very good and improved his stock. If you watch some of his game, the resemblance in body type to current Detroit Lions down defensive end, Trey Flowers is hard to escape. While slightly taller and with a slightly shorter wingspan (measurements here at 247 Sports), Strowbridge looks the part of a “3-tech”, a lineman who rushes from just over the outside shoulder of an opposing offensive guard.
After watching some film of him, his athleticism is apparent. Strowbridge usually does a good job of using his hands to keep offensive players from getting a hold of him. At times, his get-off from the snap looks like he’s been shot out of a cannon; unfortunately, at other times, he isn’t as quick to get out of his stance.
Strowbridge diagnoses pretty quickly and when he’s ready he is capable of closing on a ball-carrier very quickly. Consistency coming out of his stance, at times getting too tall, and negating his power and speed seem to be holding him back more than a lack of ability. He is a wrecking ball when he gets low and uses his natural gifts but is a Jekyll and Hyde player.
Although he looks like a Flowers clone, he has been used as a 5-tech, lined up on the outside shoulder of a tackle, and been effective there, too. In the open field, he is capable of closing and tackling smaller men due to his agility, which looks very good for a big man at nearly 270 pounds. We saw film of him dropping into a short zone to keep a quarterback from running and he did a good job floating, reading, and coming up for a stop once the quarterback decided to use his feet.
Draft experts don’t agree on his value where some have him as an undrafted free agent, while others have him listed as a fifth-round prospect. From what we can see, due to some upside with athleticism and physical gifts he falls into those later, middle rounds where prospects with starter potential usually go.
The Detroit Lions use a variety of players that they can move around and need players who can win in one-on-one matchups with guards or tackles. While edge rusher is probably a bigger need to fans, Patricia seems to like his players like Flowers.